diary of a dog portrait
After sketching out the basic outline on my newly-stretched 16" x 20" canvas I loosely blocked in the main shapes with bright colours. I never start with a blank canvas as the underpainting is an important part of the final image in my work. This painting was no exception, even though I knew that I was painting an uncharacteristically traditional painting in both composition and execution and that, in the end, the effect of the underpainting would be minimal.
It's my painting and I'll cheat if I want to, cheat if I want to, cheat if I want to; You would cheat, too, if it happened to you.
And so I did. While removing the offending element I also lowered the horizon line so it fit the perspective better and wasn't floating above his head. And then came the endless grass. I have no idea where Seurat and his partners-in-pointillism got all their patience.
And there you have it. I thought briefly about attempting to incorporate my more distinctive stylistic elements into this painting, then realized that a straight-ahead portrait, done with as much faithfulness as possible, was really the only choice for such personal subject matter. For me anyway. Besides, animal portraits are way outside my experience and I knew I'd screw it up royally if I tried anything too ambitious. I had to get this right. And you know, I really did find the whole process therapeutic, in spite of the fact that I worked like a woman possessed for more than three days (or maybe because of). Now I think I'll sleep for a week.