Next up on the easel is a gorgeous Border Collie named Bailey. The last Border Collie portrait I had was Marmo, just before Christmas. I am delighted to get back to doing another one. Such an intelligent and good looking breed.
Bailey is a beautiful Tri Border collie, like Marmo, but he was black, tan and white whereas Bailey is red, tan and white. My client sent me a lovely selection of photos but in the end we settled on the one with his big smile. Can’t beat the border collie smile!
Starting Bailey’s Pet Portrait.
As usual I start with Bailey’s eyes. He has gorgeous eyes and there is lots of detail in the reference photo for me to really bring out there beauty. His eyes are amber, and I have used a mixture of Burnt Ochres, Black, Sanguine, Saffron, indigo, burnt umber and white to create them. Please feel free to watch the video here. A little bit of instruction and my waffle!
I have added a few close ups so you can see the detail that has gone into his eyes. Unfortunately the colours are a little muted due to my phone camera and the light.
Progress On Bailey’s Dog Portrait
I have been using a wide range of colours to get Baileys gorgeous coat colour. What makes it interesting is is a mix of cool and warm colours depending on where the sun and shade is falling on her.
There is an overlap of colours I use in both the warm and cool shades, but the cool shades have a little more burnt carmine, indigo blue and cool greys to them to punch up that cool feel. The warm shades have venitian red, burnt ochre and maybe some saffron and the over lapping colours are the browns and chocolate.
I am trying to put together a small timelapse of the work going on today, timelapse pro the app keeps freezing on me, I need to work out why. I seem to be having all sorts of problems with it recently. If anyone knows of any other decent timelapse apps please let me know and I’d be eternally grateful! If I get any success I will be sure to share it in this blog with you.
For the background in Bailey’s dog portrait I decided to do something similar to Florrie’s portrait. It already had trees and sky in the background, but I decided to make them more out of focus which will throw Bailey forward and really make him stand out. It works really well in pet portraits where I am not using a plain background and want something that indicates the subject being outside.
Finishing Bailey’s Dog Portrait.
Finishing his portrait is tricky, in fact finishing all dog portraits can be tricky. I think it is the artist nemisis! Knowing when to leave it alone. We are notorious for fiddling and tweaking forever. It can drive you mad!
One thing I have learnt in all the years I have been creating pet portraits is actually emailing the client and seeing what they think. Otherwise you can go on and on. I know when I am getting to the overworking stage and I force myself to put my pencils down and, leave it 24 hours and return with fresh eyes. If nothing jumps out, I will scan it and email it over.
My clients know their dogs better than anyone, who is going to know best whether you have captured their pet to their true likeness! They are of course. I want to give my clients a chance to have their input in their pet portrait commission, and I am more than happy to make amendments for them.
In Bailey’s case my client has requested a couple of tweaks. I missed a pink bit off his nose and to perhaps thin down his belly. For all the hours I have looked at him these little things can be missed. Also the little spot above his left eye as we look at it is not actaully that large! It is the way the light has fallen across his face. It will be my job to make these adjustments tomorrow and rescan him for my client. On the very rare occaision I get asked to make adjustments they are normally very simple things, but the complete the portrait. Client satisfaction is paramount for me. You can see here how happy previous clients have been by reading my previous testimonials.
Here is the scan of Bailey before the amendments have been made. He is just gorgeous and you could jump right in those eyes couldn’t you? I will post the rescanned image tomorrow so you can compare.
Here is a close up of his gorgeous eyes for you!