Here’s the finished portrait of Patches. Strengthening the sunbeam was the final touch. I wanted it colorful and strong, but when I first painted it it was way too colorful and way too strong. It was at that point that I discovered a technique I should have known all along – lifting. I used a clean brush to slowly pick up paint from the yellow portion, then used q-tips and the chisel edge of a large flat clean brush to pick up streaks, leaving clearer individual shafts.
The overall look is somewhat sentimental but I think it’s completely appropriate for a portrait of a beloved pet who has passed on.
I’m happy with Patches and pretty happy with the sky. I would like more color in the sky – peach and green perhaps – but my skills aren’t there yet. Next June I’m registered at the IAPS (International Association of Pastel Societies) conference in Albuquerque and one of the two classes I’ve signed up for is on painting skies in pastels. I am really looking forward to it. In fact, I wish it were next week, but I’ll just have to wait. Painting beautiful and dramatic skies would be a wonderful skill to have. Meanwhile, I’ll keep working on it on my own.