Welcome back dear reader!
For your perusal today I have the first part of a WIP post to share with you. The subject for this one is a commission I have for a client's dog, an Aussie named "Otis". I've had the distinct pleasure of meeting Otis on several occassions and, being partial to Aussie's myself (I have one of my own), I have to admit that he's a cute little fellow who I'm sure will get into lots of trouble.
The piece is being cobbled together from several ref pics and the pose is not a typical one that you'd find for a portrait. The pose itself is a deviation from an ACEO I did last year of my own Aussie, Rosebud, titled "It wasn't me". That's the ACEO below:
Otis' owner saw this one and liked the idea because it just captures that "I ripped your expensive leather boots apart but you can't punish me because I'm terribly adorable and I wiggle my bum at you when I'm happy" type of Aussie personality.**
** Truth be told, Aussie's really aren't that bad, but they will find something to do it you don't give them something to do...they're happy little work-aholics.
The pics of Otis that I have to work from are puppy pics, he's still only about 9 months old, so he still has all the puppy fluff and oversized ears. I'm sticking to capturing him "as is" because when it comes to portraits I don't believe in embellishing the subject. It's your decision as an artist and at the discretion of the client as to whether or not you'd like to do that, but I'm quite up front in letting people know that their portrait will be "honest". I'm an artist, not a plastic surgeon. So let'd get started:
My apologies for the yellow-ish cast on the image but here's the first part. Otis is a blue merle which, right from the get go, I know will make this an interesting piece to do. Kind of like doing Appaloosa or roan coloured horses, it'll either work...or go horribly wrong. As with all my portraits I've done his eyes first and blocked in a few of the darkest darks and lightest lights using Black and White, respectively. For the "tan" parts on his legs I used Yellow Ochre, as well as for his eyebrows which were touched up with Cream.
In part two, which is more 'true to life' colour-wise, I've blocked in more of the lights very lightly with Warm and French Grey 10% and I've blocked in some of the darks very, very lightly with Black. I've established some of the mid-tones, such as the shadowing on his legs and where parts of his coat overlap using French Grey 50%. I've filled in more of his legs and I did so using more Yellow Ochre and then worked them over with Ginger Root and Putty Beige.
I've also added some Periwinkle to his body to add some interest to his coat (he is a Blue merle, after all) and added some Yellow Ochre to his ears and face so I can establish the basic facial structure. To his face I've also added more of his markings, mainly around the eyes.
That's it for this part of the WIP. I'll resume this one starting next week because Friday's are reserved for silliness.
Also, I don't want you to think that I've forgotten about the face-lift I was supposed to give this blog, oh.. about a week and a half ago. I'm still doing that and I suspect that next week will be when it finally happens. I'm a little rusty on my HTML and Blogger has already shown me its tempermental side... far be it from me to upset the delicate balance of proper coding.
Back on Friday!