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Old 12-02-2005, 12:52 PM
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E-J E-J is offline
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Golden retrieiver/ wip Finished!

I have finally begun work on my dog commission!

You may recall how I struggled for a week to put together a full body pose with decent head shot from the photos my client sent me ... before offering to paint a head-only portrait, which he agreed to.

Here's my underdrawing and background. I basically finger-painted with the background blues, putting them down with short strokes and blending them using sort of diagonal/circular movements.



Dark purple goes on next, and then some dark and reddish browns. I've had to use a flash - none of the paler tints are as bright as they appear here.



For each "unrealistic" fur colour I use, such as purple or blue, I will find a more realistically doggy tint (a brown or an ochre) of equivalent value which I can blend into and stroke on top of it, leaving the more fanciful colours showing through for interest.



I blend all of my dark-to-mid values with fingers to form a base for the mid-to-light tones, which I'll tackle next. That's fine for the initial layers, but the only blending I'll do from now on will be of one pastel into another.

In the main ref photo I'm using, the eyes, nose and mouth are too black for any detail to be discerned, but I've got other refs which should help me, including one of a nose, kindly provided by LorraineG!

Thanks for looking in
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:11 PM
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E-J E-J is offline
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

How rude of me not to mention that this is about 12x12" on burgundy Art Spectrum (it's a pleasure to be using it again - this is my favourite surface!).
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:37 PM
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HarvestMoon HarvestMoon is offline
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

E-J- it looks wonderful- and I should have thought the first time to try to get a shot of the golden next door- but she is usually either furiously barking at us or has a ball in her mouth.... none of their animals ever cooperates with my camera darn it!!
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Old 12-02-2005, 02:17 PM
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

He is looking great! I'll check back to see your progress. Thanks for sharing your technique with the background and colors!
Barbara
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Old 12-02-2005, 02:21 PM
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

Thanks purples (like your new avatar, by the way ... it's very "you"!) and Barbara. When you work in layers, there doesn't seem to be anything very exciting to share for quite a while - but things should pick up when I get to the paler layers!
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Old 12-02-2005, 02:23 PM
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

This is going to be a stunner EJ, it will be interesting to see how you build it up.

John
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Old 12-02-2005, 03:37 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

EJ this is a wonderful start - thanks for sharing yor process. As one who's lived with Goldens everysince I was two years old, I can see you've already gotten the essence of this dog very nicely. He looks very "Old Golden Nobel". Your client should be happy with all you've gone through to satisfy his need. I'm looking forward to seeing the final painting.

Purples - I had to laugh at your attempts to get photos of the neighbor's golden - barking (to get your attention of course!) or with a ball in the mouth is oh so typical of the breed! I have two now - my 7 1/2 year old girl is extremely well trained and will cooperate with the camera (but she doesn't look anything like this dog) and the other is a 7 month old "pup" of 68 pounds who is learning, but still a puppy so I have to sneak up on him with the camera. I'm hoping to get a good one of them to use at Christmas, but not so sure it will work this year because weh I sit the two of them together, the pup keeps turning his head to play with his sister!

Peggy
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:08 PM
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Orchidacea Orchidacea is offline
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

LOL at Peggy's puppy problems.

E-J, this is going to be gorgeous! I'm in awe of your ability to capture the dog's beauty and nobility even in your very earliest layers. I hope I can do that someday!
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:16 PM
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

E-J ... I am so impressed, and its lovely of you to demonstrate your technique for us. I love working on the burgundy AS too .... my next best colour after the brick red one.

I am not going to eulogise although I want to!!!! Will be watching in awe though.
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Old 12-02-2005, 07:07 PM
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

E-J, this is wonderful so far. I really like your use of blues and purples as underpainting, the lights you apply next will really shine.

I'm glad you were able to come to terms with your client with just going with a head shot. I think it'll turn out much more regal painting than the full body photo you originally posted. Can't wait to see the next steps.
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Old 12-02-2005, 10:04 PM
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Paula Ford Paula Ford is offline
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

E-J,

It is always a treat to see your work! This is beautiful already!

Pulling up chair waiting in anticipation.

Paula
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Old 12-02-2005, 10:26 PM
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Nancy Leone Nancy Leone is offline
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

This is wonderful already, E.J.
I'm sure they will be thrilled.
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Old 12-02-2005, 11:17 PM
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K Taylor-Green K Taylor-Green is offline
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

All I can say is, WOW! Thanks for sharing the process you use.
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Old 12-03-2005, 12:03 PM
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

It's a slow process ...

Does anyone else find they work MUCH more slowly when it's a commission? When I'm painting for myself, I can happily finish a picture at one or two sittings. With a commission, I decide on one particular thing I need to achieve in a painting session, and when I think that's done, I sit back and go "Phew!" and leave the next hurdle for another day.

Everything's still quite low-key at this stage. I went over him with two mid-to-light values (a purplish-grey and a goldy-ochre) and decided to blend this layer too, as I realised I should go lighter with the underpainting. Fortunately the Colourfix will allow me to keep blending colours in or picking them off with a brush until I reach the not-so-scary stage where I feel happy putting down the paler tints and leaving them alone!! Not sure when that will be!

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Old 12-04-2005, 09:04 PM
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Re: Golden retriever, WIP

Don't know how I missed this, EJ. Your golden is incredibly fantastic!!!! It has so much drama to it. I love it. Thanks so much for sharing the various steps with us. I'll be waiting to see more of your technique.

binkie

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