Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oil Painting of Borzoi Pup

"The Divine Miss Eve" (December 2008)
This is my most recent oil painting of a Borzoi pup in her 'ballerina' pose that is so endearing to her owners. Patricia commissioned me to do this as a Christmas gift for Dick. I will show the progression of the painting and tell a bit about it in this post. Patricia emailed me several photos of Eve and picked this pose as their favorite. (Photo is shown further down)
First I prepared my canvas. Sometimes I paint on canvas board or stretched canvas, but most enjoy working on a board that I have prepared myself, a smooth gessoed art board that I then paint a couple more coats of gesso onto to get the texture that I want. I took the photos in natural light on my easel instead of using a flash, so although you see a golden background, what I actually started with was more white.

I begin with a pencil sketch and first paint the face, which will get more detail later. I also paint in some shadow areas on the body with thin paint.

Beginning to apply some background color and more shadows. I like to get various colors in the shadow areas, here I am using blues, pinks, lavender, and golden washes of thinned oil paint.

Now painting in the dark areas around face. Once the background becomes darker I see how I need to deepen the colors on the dog. Even though Eve's fur is tones of white, it is important to get quite a bit of color in it to be able to see the fur and body contours.

Progressing on the background and areas of her body. As the area around her becomes darker, once again I see that I must deepen her fur colors. Now I begin working on details. Below is the original photo that I used. I printed it and taped it onto my easel to refer to as I worked, and enlarged areas on my computer screen to view also. My afghan hound Dazzle will often come into my studio and stare at the dog photos or paintings on my computer screen or on my easel, and then bark and do a play-bow. Oh how she wants to run and play with Eve!!!

Above is the original photo. Below is a close-up of the finished painting. The canvas size is 11 x 14 inches, and framed the dimensions were around 17 x 20.

When I reached a point that I was near the final stages, I emailed Patricia the image for her input to create the final details and get her approval for the painting before shipping it.

Finished framed painting. It was fun to share my painting process with you. I am happy to report that Dick loved his gift, and that Patricia let him open it early because she was so excited!
Eve is all grown up now so it is a special memory of her puppyhood.


grey like snuffie said...

Wow, that was fun to see how a painting progress's. I think my favorite is still Billie--he looks so loveable and squeezable.

LindaSonia said...

Can I just say, your blog is sooo appropriately named, because what you create is certainly beautiful. Love it! LindaSonia

Megan @ Little Bella Bean said...

I gave you and award!! =) I love your puppy painting progression. I think it should be really interesting to so many people to see the progression of how a painting is done. I was lucky to be able to watch that through the years.
Come grab your award!