Monday, February 21, 2011

Yellow Lab Portrait

11 x 14 acrylic on canvas
Copyright Carole Rodrigue 2011

Hi everyone, while I've been busy working on still lifes and planning future art projects, I've painted this Yellow Lab portrait as a gift for someone I know.  His dog's name is Kayla and she's an old girl.  Kayla just turned 10 so I thought a portrait would be a great gift.  You might think Kayla looks young, and you're right, she does.  I deliberately smoothed the colors and details to give a youthful glow.  I had at first painted in all her wrinkles and thought, what lady wants her wrinkles painted?  So, off they came. 

I've added  pictures of the work in progress below to show how I painted Kayla.

I started out here by transfering a rough image of Kayla on the canvas, then drawing over some of the details with charcoal.

The background is usually the first thing I paint as well as painting in a rough sketch with black paint, or any other left over paint I might have laying around. Left over paints would all be mixed together to create a dark mud, but in this case, it was black paint.

Next, I painted over the whole sketch with burnt umber mixed with raw sienna and burnt sienna, as well as with a touch of gesso.  Adding a touch of gesso will help other layers of paint stick. I tend to work using opaque mixtures, and if the painting gets to a point where the paint is difficult to work, I add some gesso.  Trust me, this helps adding other paint layers a lot more easy!

This shot shoes more layers of paint and the painting is starting to take shape.  I added some of the backlighting to help my visual idea. I usually only add the backlighting at the end, but this time I started working with some of the lighting earlier than usual.  The backlighting is a mixture of white and a touch of blue.  This simulates the daylight  coming in through a window and gives a cool glow.

And here's a close-up of the final portrait.  I didn't show all of the layers that were painted between the last photo and this one since there was a lot of work and many more layers added.  What is important to note here is that I didn't paint every single hair. I painted some, which gives the impression from up close of having painted in more hair than I actually did.  Also, more blue was added in the fur since the backlighting is provided by daylight streaming in through a window.  This blue also creates shadows and complements the golds and oranges in the painting.  While the blues don't jump out at you, they are everywhere in the painting and provide a more realistic piece.  

I hope you`ve enjoyed this one, and come back to see some still life soon!  Thanks for dropping in!


Colette Theriault said...

Been meaning to comment that this is very lovely Carole. I'm sure your friend will be so happy!

Carole Rodrigue said...

Thanks Colette. He was!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully done!

Carole Rodrigue said...

Thank you! The painting has even more meaning for the owner since Kayla passed away last year. She was a very well loved pet.