Sunday, November 7, 2010

McKenzie and Finley - Yellow Lab Portrait

Late this summer I had the privilege of meeting a very nice couple from Kansas who were visiting a past client and friend. They had seen a portrait I had done some years back of their dog, Hannah, and were impressed enough to want to take some time out from their holiday to meet me. The couple was wonderful and the lady got quite excited looking at my portfolio and envisioning their pets in a portrait. I gave them all the information about photos I would need, prices, etc. and they said they would get back to me when they returned home. A few months later I got an email from the husband who wanted to secretly get a portrait done of their two yellow labs, Mackenzie and Finley, for his wife's birthday. ( I love all this secret stuff!) After exchanging several emails to decide on the poses we came up with this portrait.

This painting was done in acrylic, but I also added a little bit of gouache for the finest details as I find it flows better off the brush and is very opaque. Any place that I wanted to add a brighter highlight or to accent individual hairs like the whiskers I painted with gouache. The nice thing about using water media is that they are interchangeable and can easily be used together. It was also great fun to paint the shadows in their coats as I could use colors like soft blues and lavenders. 

I have a few weeks to wait now until my clients wife opens her birthday present, but I have been told a phone call telling me how well she liked it won't be necessary.  I should be able to hear her screaming excitedly all the way from Kansas!!