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Secrets lifted on the four legged friend

Having worked hard this week finishing off the pet portrait and then getting started on the secret wedding painting, and trying to find out more about selling artist’s copyright, its been a busy art week.

I emailed the image of the finished pet portrait at the beginning of the week and the response came back:

” It’s beautiful, really beautiful. Gets her expression perfectly.  Thank you so much. You should be proud of it, it’s so good and I really appreciate the extra effort you have obviously put in.”

Which is always good to hear! But I also knew that it’s a surprise Christmas present and the recipient obviously doesn’t know about it, and that usually means that I don’t show it to the world on my blog or website until its been gifted to the person its for. I inquired if it would be ok to show it aMillie 1 (2)nd the reply was that it was, which shows that the recipient isn’t a regular reader of my blog! 🙂  But, that means I can show it to you and introduce you to one of the prettiest dogs I’ve seen, and one with bags of character. I don’t know what breed she is, but no doubt someone can tell me that, but I do know she was interesting to paint!

I’ve painted her in acrylics since they are the best medium for animals I think, as I can paint light hairs over dark hairs, and dark hairs over light, which shows the layers of fur on an animal in the best way. There was a lot of fine detail to pick up and put in the picture, in particular the white hair that is always full of tiny little shades of pale blue, ochres and palest grey. I love the pose with one ear up and one down, which adds to the personality of Millie, and makes the painting more interesting as I could paint the ears in both positions, one showing the inner ear, and the other the soft floppy side. It was obviously important to keep the different shades of her particular colouring very exact too, which meant the ochre and black and white had to have tiny touches of the alternating colours in the main body of colour. And then, the all important aspect of the eyes and nose. If the eyes don’t look right, then the whole thing is ruined, but that is down to getting the liquid look of the eyes with the spots of light shining in them, and the hint of light in the lower eye sockets.

So, here she is, Millie, in her portrait, and set in the grass that she is sitting on in the accompanying photo. But I broke up the uniformity of it by incorporating more light and dark, and blues and yellows, which gives the eye more to look at than flat emerald green grass. Also I made sure that it was just a hint of the blades of the grass because if I’d put in a lot of detail in them, then the picture would have been about grass and not the dog, which is where the fine detail is. And bringing up Millie (2)the blades of grass over her little paws shows how small she is against the grass, with the hint of splatter of white paint around her tail showing that she is happy to see you and wag her tail in greeting.

A gorgeous little dog that I was delighted to paint. And I know she is going to a good home! 🙂