Showing posts with label fixing distortions when painting from photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fixing distortions when painting from photos. Show all posts

Monday, March 28, 2016

Husky Mix Pet Portrait in Oil

Tub, Husky Mix
8 x 10 Oil on Linen
Carole Rodrigue ©2016
SOLD, Private commission

Tub was a very beloved pet and mate to her owner for over 15 years.  She is passed now, and this painting was commissioned as a gift to the owner.  I'm told he was his sidekick and constant partner.
Painting this sweet girl was tricky but I pulled it off.  As often happens when pets are deceased and someone commissions a painting, there are sometimes not enough quality reference photos of the pet.  This was such a situation.  Here's the reference photo:

As you can see, the image is not very clear and is small so a lot of details are missing.  Also, it was taken from a strange angle, more underneath the dog.  I had to straighten the image first in order to get a better perspective.
I then started painting Tub with the shirt as in the reference since this was what the client had asked.  I knew before I started this wouldn't work, but I did it just to show how sometimes you can't stay true to a reference due to poor photo quality.

As you can see from the early stages of the painting, the t-shirt view as in the original photo just did not work.  The subject appeared to have a huge head and a tiny compact body with no neck.  Certain photo angles just do not work in a painting.  Photos can present all sorts of distortion issues and one has to deal with foreshortening and compensating for these oddities.  This is why an artist can never remain a slave to a photo.  An inexperienced artist might not recognize these issues or know how to deal with them.  I've seen countless paintings over the years where someone was a slave to a photo and copied it perfectly, only to have a painting that looked like a bad photo. Yep, that happens a lot.  
So, what did I do?  I had to add a neck, but not just any neck.  I needed Tub's neck! And fast because there was a deadline!  Luckily, the client was able to contact someone who rushed another bad photo, but at least I had a neck to work with now, Tub's neck.    Here's the other photo:

 Painting rescued and fixed!  With this photo, I was at least able to imagine Tub's neck and how it would be in the same light and angle I was painting.  Tub was blessed with wonderfully huge ears, but not a huge head.  The new composition worked so much better with a neck and straight ahead look.  The client is thrilled with how it turned out and that means that  am too.  That's the way it works: I'm not happy unless the client is.  :-)

So that's my tale from the studio for today.  I have new painting adventures and commissions awaiting.  I love my job.  I am blessed.  :-D 

If you would like information on getting your own commission, don't be shy and contact me.  Your information is confidential and you will not be placed on any list.  Just straight information. 

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