Merry Christmas, Everyone, and as promised, here's the story, and full painting, of Winston.
I was contacted a few months ago, by his Mom, about a painting commission as a surprise gift for her husband. I haven't done many commissions in the past. Not that I am opposed to doing them, but there is more pressure to capture someone's likeness, than in a regular painting. Then you need reference photos to work from . Most dogs and cats aren't terribly fond of having their picture taken either. Here are a few of the photos that she sent.
(You can click on the photos and they will enlarge a bit).
He looks like a happy dog. And those ears.
Winston was 15 years old, and had to be put to sleep back in February of this year, as he developed nasal cancer behind his eye. Winston was her first dog. He looks like a chow mix, but those ears also remind me of a corgi. Could be a little German Shepherd in there too. I don't think I asked about his lineage and pedigree.
A few years ago, they lived in Germany and were hiking in the Alps.
Got to love this photo below, with the "hills" in the background.
I wonder if they sang "Sound of Music" that day, ala Julie Andrews.
And this was the photo that I chose to work from below. I liked the light in the photo and his expression. At the same time, I was a little concerned since his face was in the shadow, and his eyes were so dark. (Ok, I admit, I was a lot concerned : ) ) Trying to get them dark enough, without looking like black holes, or lumps of coal, etc.
Here's the painting, and a detail of his face. It is painted on Yupo board, 8x10 inches, so it has that slick, wet, fluid look to it, unlike a regular watercolor painting surface. It was varnished and framed in a dark wooden frame with a linen liner.
I enjoyed painting Mr. Winston. There is something special about one's first dog.
I hope they think of him often, and remember him happy, when they see the painting.