First, the photography tip, though it’s not so much about photography as about common sense. Late this afternoon Deb, who commissioned Cory’s portrait for her mom, came by to pick up the painting. Before she arrived, I took a photo of the painting. But I didn’t check it – ERROR! This evening, with Deb and the painting long gone, I loaded the photo from the camera to the computer only to find that the picture quality was somewhere between bad and terrible. It had a coat of vanish on it and the glare was pronounced. Also, I apparently photographed it in quite different light than the first shot a few days ago, so the colors are so different that the two photos don’t show the progression of the painting very well. In addition to the glare, this photo is way too blue. The actual piece has much warmer, cheerier greens. So, be sure you have a good photo before you send a finished painting on its way!
Originally, I only had one front paw showing. But when I put the painting up to evaluate after the last painting session, I noticed that, by pure chance, the shadows and highlights seemed to suggest the second paw, and I liked the look. So when I returned to work, I did add that second paw.
Most of the work for this final session was continuing to add detail, adding just a touch of the staining color around the eyes and the mouth, and lengthening and adding volume to the ears. The photos I was working from had some problems, including no view showing how long the ears were. With Deb out of town I couldn’t call her with questions and just had to guess. In the end, I thought I had managed to paint an appealing dog and just hoped that Deb would be happy with it. So I am happy to report that Deb was very excited, and declared the painting to be “perfect!” “Perfect” is one thing I’m sure that it’s not, but I’m just so gratified that Deb is happy and hope that her mother will be as well. And finally, I hope that Cory, now quite an older dog, will approve of his portrait.