Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Fox and The Hound

After such a difficult time painting my first oil painting in twenty years using the red fox as a subject (see my entry "Who Said Oil and Water Don't Mix"), I feel very proud of my latest accomplishment. I decided to do a 6" x 8" painting of a Rottweiler puppy as a birthday gift for a friend of mine. This was a much better experience and I would like to share with you what I learned.

First: Good reference photos. Good reference photos! Good reference photos!!! This means that there is a clear light source so the shadows and light parts of the subject are easy to see. To me, understanding where these light and dark parts really belong make a great painting.

Second: Get the personality of the subject. Get up close so you can really see the expression of the subject.

Third: The photo must be in focus. No guessing about what is going on. I know artists are supposed to use their "imagination" to fill in things, but when I am trying to learn a new subject, it's not a good time to do this.

Fourth: Have a great drawing first. I did a drawing which I transferred to the canvas. Instead of doing a one color underpainting for placement, I could place the darks and lights right where I needed them the first time, which saved me so much time and headache repainting.

The result was a painting that took me half the time, was twice the fun to do and felt very satisfying for me to complete. Lessons learned. Tell me what you think!

Jeff's Corner: Just like a news story, a painting is only as good as its source.

1 comment:

JackieG said...

Wow! That is a fantastic painting! The light and texture are amazing, and for a brief moment I even wanted a puppy! Bravo! -JG