View Full Version : update on shiloh

02-21-2008, 05:03 PM
okay--here is an update. this was a big challenge because the composition was so NOT like something i would do. and i didn't go into it with a clear picture of how to handle it--so i had to feel my way along--which for me is rarely a good thing. i wanted to somehow visually unite the two images, but i didn't want them touching. the pose that jill specified for the upper dog made the overall composition a "T" shape. not a shape i am comfortable with--i like diagonals and S curves. thanks to dreamz suggestion about a glow, and a conversation with a good honest friend--i decided that the best way to achieve unity was with color. i ended up toning almost the entire background and grading the color down from the top. this is not a kind of painting i am comfortable with--i like my grounds and i like to see them. because of this i am not really skilled at doing this, so i did the best i could. went really slow with glazes and scumbling, trying very hard not to ruin the paper or the painting in the process.
jill asked for angel wings in the end, and we emailed back and forth a few times while she chose the shape she liked.
the angel dog is the only place where the white paper is left and i liked the luminous quality it lent her. the only thing that i thought mattered on her was her eyes and expression, so other than that there is very little detail.
i am satisfied with it, and jill is very happy with it--and all the ladies in her office that knew shiloh like it too. i think i could do better, though and I would welcome any suggestions that would help me with my background deficiency syndrome :-)http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Feb-2008/132189-shilohdone.jpgit was a real privelege to be included in the wonderful story of this dog, and i hope the painting brings a lot of comfort and happiness to her owner. chris

02-21-2008, 05:18 PM
How hard this must have been for you to achieve.
The bottom line is that the person that receives the painting is happy!
Nothing else.
Obviously, you would have done it differently, but you did what she wanted.
This makes this painting a Masterpeice to the recipient.

One note.
In the full front part of the dog, I think you have the beginning of the ears a bit too low on the head.
I may suggest that they start at least where her eyes are.
Look at the "Angel" and see where her ears begin?
All in all a wonderful painting that the recipient will love.

02-21-2008, 05:44 PM
I actually really like the wings on the dog. I am very passionate about my animals and something like that would make me very happy as well. I like the soft bg as well.

02-21-2008, 05:55 PM
I think this look beautiful as is. Maybe beefing up the color in the bottom dog would help it to stand out from the background a tad more. But, either way you've done a wonderful job.

02-21-2008, 09:11 PM
I think you did a lovely job with this and understand how difficult it was to do since this isn't your type of painting. The only thing I would suggest is to anchor the dog on the top...maybe resting on a soft cloud. He seems to be floating in space...but not like in heaven. Where am I going with this...I was never there, but maybe you know what I mean :rolleyes:

02-22-2008, 12:18 PM
i thought i would put some more information here because it might be helpful to someone else trying a painting like this. i have been looking and thinking a lot today and thanks to your input and my own thoughts i have identified at least some of the problems with this painting.
while i like the luminous quality of the angel dog, she looks like she is the only solid object in the picture by comparison. last night a google search for images that might help me turned up one by beverly dolittle. i realized i should have painted my angel dog over the toned background. since i hadn't planned on this ahead of time, i am now faced with softly putting more background color over her body and trying to fuse her with it. what i should have done was paint in the background colors, then paint the angel dog by just indicating the main shadows that define her, and used minimal outline at all. this would give me some lost edges. thanks to your suggestions i also need to strengthen the darks below her to ground her in the picture--i may be able to loose an edge on this side as i do this. i also need to darken the background around the lower dog a little more--i can't punch up her color--jill was very specific in her desire to have her painted very light blonde--but i can help the contrast by working on the background instead. i also need to look at my reference photo again at her ears--her expression is what barbara woodhouse calls "flat faced" with her ears very far down and back--a typical "happy dog" face and one i am told was very typical of her. but the fact that the placement looks off means i need to look more carefully at how i painted that and see if i can make it clearer to the viewer what is really going on there.
so those are my thoughts as i look at this painting--i have begun to bleed a little color into the angel dog and it has helped already. there was a big "s" shaped expanse of white from her foreleg, up her shoulder and to her head that was grabbing my eye and not letting go. all that has been toned. the only part i have tried to leave untouched are her head so if the eye goes anywhere, it goes to her expression and nothing else competes for it; and her hind foot, which is the only part of the composition that points to the large portrait and connects the two pictures at all.
so onward and forward. thanks for looking, reading and commenting to those that have. i really appreciate your taking the time. i hope i can be of help to you in the future! chris

02-22-2008, 05:15 PM
This is a really heartfelt, and skilled piece The adjustments you plan sound good and I hope to see the efforts that adds, but this is really just as sweet as can be.