Friday, November 23, 2007

Poodle portrait in oil

Final: This is the finished poodle, and I have included the previous stages in this post for those of you who have followed the work-in-progress stages.

In the final, I added a glaze of cobalt blue over the warm background. The blue brings the dog forward and pushes the background back. It also softens the stark shadow. I have also added many layers and colors of paint to the poodle's head and body.

I'm calling it finished, and now it sits up on the shelf drying for the owner to take it home.

Another artist told me a few days ago, "Vernita, you paint Impressionism with a Texas twist." I consider that a great compliment. If ever it was true, it was true on the poodle. I really enjoyed painting this one.

Stage 4: This is the next update on the poodle in progress. Friday I added the darkest shadow. I have not worked on it since. Hopefully Tuesday.

I have several paintings in progress. This is my first poodle to paint. What fun! This little one is just growing out of the background paint and feels almost sculptural as I paint.

Stage 3: I am skipping the second stage since it was just more build up of the first stage shown below. In this third pass, I have added white, cad yellow medium, and cobalt blue. It is amazing what the addition of blue did to the overall painting. The background that previously looked so pink and crimson has been toned down and muted by the blue. It is an optical illusion, but now the background seems to have an orange cast. In reality, it does not. Next I will add spots of white mixed with alizarin and a touch of raw sienna in the dog's body. Then I'll darken the shadow under the dog and come back with the highlights, hopefully to call it done.

Stage 1: My palette on the poodle is even more limited than usual. So far, I have used alizarin crimson as my main color in the background, eyes and very darks, a little cad yellow medium in the ears and head, and white. Oh yes, I used a touch or two of cad red in the poodle's lip along the left side. I love this stage of the dog's ears. So Impressionist. Some day I'll do a painting and leave it very loose like that, maybe one of Border Collie Brooke to hang on my own wall.