Today's WIP of Jesse includes two updates. The first one is another close up of Jesse with the ball in his mouth. You can see that he now has a very pink tongue and a partial lower jaw.
The second update shows Jesse with his jaw completed and the shadow in place as well as the outline of his body. It is rather difficult to see the lines, but they're there along with directional lines for which way the fur was going. At this point, I'm thinking I've screwed up somehow and Jesse's head is way to small for the powerful (big!) body.
This is where I have to just trust that my drawing is accurate and NOT second guess myself! I've already had one attack of second-guessing myself. When I first started Jesse's portrait, I started with the eyes. If the eyes aren't right, it doesn't matter how good the rest of it is, it won't work. I was absolutely sure I had screwed up his eyes after I painted them and nearly restarted. He looked more like a white pit bull than a retriever!
Turns out the culprit was the white paper. Once I had more of Jesse's face in he started to look like himself. I have positioned Jesse so that his head and eyes lay on the Golden Mean or the sweet spot. If you are not familiar with the concept of Golden Mean, there is a whole lot of info on the web about it, but in short, it simply means to divide your paper into thirds in both directions. Where the lines intersect are the sweet spots and usually make for stronger, more interesting compositions if you align the most important part of your design on or near one of those intersections.
One other note, I didn't draw the rest of Jesse's body until I was certain that I had his face right. Basically for two reasons. One, if I had botched it, it saved me some time to have NOT drawn it in. Second, I could possible use the untouched paper for another painting. So here we are. More tomorrow.