Saturday, January 30, 2010
Watercolor 11" x 15" Mats to 16" x 20"
Painting animals of any type is a challenge for me. Yet, every now and then I run across an animal that tempts me to pick up my brush and see what I can do. Needless to say, I love furry dogs - any size and this one just pulled at my heartstrings. So, above is my attempt at capturing Sadie's personality.
I am not the type of painter that enjoys excessive detail in my work.....a photo can do that. I wanted to paint "personality". Therefore, the fur in this painting is an example of that - my interpretation. I laid down a wash of different "fur" colors (leaving some spots of white paper highlights) with a few detailed bits of fur which were accomplished with my larger fan brush. Painting eyes can sometimes be tricky as well. I wanted depth without detail.
Below are a few tips for painting dog fur and eyes.
Painting Dogs' Fur Tip:
Dog hair doesn't only vary in length, color, and curliness, but it also grows in different directions on different parts of the body. This is visible even on the shortest-haired of dogs. The face is one region where there are several 'changes' in direction of hair. Check the direction and length as you paint. This does make a difference in the final product.
Painting Dogs' Eyes Tip:
Start by observing where the highlights in the dog's eyes are. Draw this, then the size of the pupil (black part of the eye), then the size of the iris (colored part) and then the rest of the eye. If you get the highlight in a dog's eyes in the correct place and in the correct proportion, the eyes will look right.
Most dogs have brown eyes, but of course not all browns are the same, nor uniform, so once again be sure to not to paint a generic eye colour but to look closely at the specific colour of that specific dog's eyes. The irises of the eyes of miniature dogs tend not to be very visible. Like humans, dogs can have eyes that are different colors, though it's rare.
I love a challenge, don't you? Accepting a challenge in painting helps one grow as a painter. Pick up that brush, accept your challenge! You'll be glad you did. I was! And because of that I was able to introduce you to Sadie!