Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Olivia - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas

"Olivia" - 8 x 8 inches - oil on canvas
I just finished this commission of "Olivia" who was a "bagel" (part Basset Hound and part Beagle).  Olivia always had a bit of a worried expression on her face but was the sweetest dog.  She was adopted with her brother, Beau, who I painted last week.  

Beau and Olivia's claim to fame is that they were selected to be the Grand Marshalls at the 2015 Tri-State Bassett Hound Rescue BoardWaddle Parade in Ocean City, NJ.  

Olivia recently passed away so this portrait will be a loving reminder of her sweet face.

Commissions can be challenging especially with mediocre photos.  I much prefer to take my own so that I can control the lighting and position of my subject.  Below is the reference photo that I was given.  

This photo presented a couple problems for me.  Most importantly, her eyes are very dark and I can't see much detail at all.  Fortunately, there were other photos so I used those to determine how to paint her eyes.  The second major issue was beneath her chin.  I think she has folds of skin that hang down in front of her neck so that only a piece of her collar and tags showed.  Considering I just couldn't figure out exactly what was happening, I turned her bandanna around so that the knot was across her back and the bandanna covered the area below her neck.  I kept the color subtle so that it isn't something you really notice unless you study the painting. 

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