View Full Version : White

Anna Marie
08-31-2002, 11:03 AM
I am doing a piccy of a beloved Dalmatian (deceased ) for a Pal and cannot for the life of me get my white highlights to look like white highlights. When I tried to tone down the rest of the dog it started to look like a blue dalmatian any suggestions?

08-31-2002, 12:49 PM
Being a newbie, one of the things I have learnt from this site is that if you want your highlights to really pop you have to give the whites something to contrast against. So I would suggest darkening the area where the highlights are eventually going to be so that when you eventually put in your highlights they will stand out.
I sometimes have difficulty in expressing myself in words, but I hope you understand what I mean.

08-31-2002, 03:34 PM
It would be really helpful if you would post an image of your painting, then we will know exactly what you mean, and will be able to advise properly.

A highlight is the brightest, lightest part of a picture, usually, so even though your dog is white, you would have to use something other than white for everything BUT the highlights. Also, if there are highlights, this implies that there is bright light somewhere - what sort of light? Sunlight? If so, the white areas of the dog will be more cream than white, which will help the highlights to show up more. Perhaps the blue you used (which is probably the right way to go if we are talking sunlight here) was just too blue, and you needed a range of very subtle light greys and grey-blues as well as darker tones for shadowy areas.


08-31-2002, 10:38 PM
White reflects whatever color is around it, unless it is like my white dog, then it looks dirty. There is no true White in a white anything, just tones of light colors.

Do post a photo of the work for us. It would help us to see what the colors are.

Good luck, and have fun.

Anna Marie
09-01-2002, 06:11 AM
Thanks for your Comments. Here is a very quick shot I took of the painting so far. There is a leather collar to go on yet which is why the neck area is not quite right but the photo I have is not very clear so I am hunting around for something with a bit better detail


09-01-2002, 06:21 AM
I think this looks great, and he doesn't look like a blue dalmation at all. However, there is very little contrast between him and the background, I am sure it will help enormously to deal with that.
I am not a doggy painter, but I hope those who are, will agree.

Baby Blue Whale
09-01-2002, 08:50 AM
Jackie, I agree. A darker background would help this pup "pop." ha ha. However, in my VERY humble opinion, I find the painting has an ethereal quality to it--which is pleasing to me. I paint canines and felines too and you've really captured the personality. It's just lovely!

Anna Marie
09-01-2002, 10:26 AM
Thank you very much for your help I am hoping to darken the background. I want to be careful that I dont lose the contrast of the dark ears however.

The dogs name is Lily and her owner had her put down in July at the age of 14. The Painting is for his daughters 18th Birthday.
He had a tear in his eye when he asked me to paint her and as she had such a lovely name I am planning to give the background a pinky lilac blue effect a bit like sweet pea shades as somewhere in the deep recesses of my Brain I feel that a Lily (the flower) would shine out of these colours.
I find it far easier to paint animals when I understand the emotions in the owners heart but it makes it far harder to feel that I have done it justice.

09-01-2002, 10:40 AM
One of my current fascinations in painting is showing white using colours which aren't white. I think if you get the tonal values right and the temperature of the light (is it a bright sunny day, cold winter day, evening, indoors, etc?) you can use quite bright colours and still have them read as white. Here's me pushing it a bit in What colour is a white rooster? (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=47967).

Having said that, your painting seems to be about soft, muted colours. Darkening the background might give the white more punch and force you to be bolder ... if that's what this painting is about. I'm not sure it is. I think it has an integrity about the colours and tonal values as it is. So, I think what you're doing works. :D

Anna Marie
09-01-2002, 10:50 AM
Thanks Sandra. The reference photo is taken on concrete on a boring dull day with no decent light source so I am trying to liven it up a bit. See what you mean about the white rooster it pays to be a bit bold !

And you are right I am trying to keep it soft

09-01-2002, 10:20 PM
Sandra is so right! And I did love her What Color is a White Rooster. I also agree that you may not want to darken the background, but add the lovely color of sweet peas that you mentioned.

Your dog. Your dog is great. My husband was sitting on the sofa and thought it was a photograph. Great job! And I have painted dogs and cats before. This is just great. So don't worry, we artists go through birthing pains with our artwork, wondering if everything will come out OK. Self doubt makes for good artists.

Please show us Lily when you have more done or are finished. She will be beautiful!