To help fill that hole just a little bit for some friends of mine who recently lost their dog, Halley, I painted a portrait of their Samoyed as the robust, smiling, happy dog that I know they want to remember. Halley was a beautiful dog and wonderful companion, and I think I was able to capture his spirit in this painting.
|"Halley," 9" x 12", watercolor and ink (Pigma Micron 005 black) on Saunders Waterford 140 lb cold-press paper|
Another thing that is helping to fill the empty space left by Halley is this little fella...
A few notes about the painting process...
- I drew the dog lightly in pencil onto the Saunders Waterford cold-press 140-lb. paper, then inked the drawing with a very fine 005 Pigma Micron black pen.
- Next I wet the background with clear water, being careful to paint around the furry profile of the dog.
- Then I painted in the background colors (wet-in-wet) and allowed them to blend. I used a small brush to further define the hairs around the edges of the dog, pulling the background color in toward the body.
- After the background had dried completely, I began to add light shading to the dog's body. I had to be careful not to overdo it or the dog would end up looking like a gray dog rather than white. I primarily used a blue-gray color, but also incorporated some pink, yellow, and lavender to make things more interesting. At this point, I also began to put the first touches of paint on the dog's eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Next the "accessories" were painted: the scarf, the ball, and the tags. A bit of spatter in the background and a few sprigs of grass helped to define the setting and keep the dog from appearing to float in mid-air.
- Midtones and darks were added to the eyes, nose, and mouth to define the shapes.
- Lastly, I added that critical white highlight in each eye.
I'm happy with the results. It was so much fun to surprise my friend with the painting. I hope every time they look at that smile on Halley's face, it will bring back happy memories for them.