WIP #2 of Jesse

4:42 PM

Along with introducing Jesse, I'd also like to introduce Andrea, Jesse's adoptive mom! Andrea is a very talented artist and photographer and is responsible for the great photo of Jesse that I am working from. Andrea has a fun blog at Colouring Outside of the Lines and I do hope you'll pop over and pay her a visit! (For those of you who enjoy bird art, Andrea has recently created some really exciting pieces for an upcoming show!)

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. 

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7 Creative Thought(s)

  1. ...thanks for the info on the Golden Mean (I feel that spot when I look at a painting or photo, but I didn't know what it was called). Love his tongue...his expression is perfect!!

  2. He looks great! I would trust your drawing. It will make sense once the rest is filled in. The overall effect of his head to body ratio is probably just due to foreshortening (which happens in photos when the animal is facing us). I know I mentioned the black before, but you really do have some wonderful colours in his fur and his nose. Lovely!

  3. Thank you! He's been a challenge, but a fun one! I'm learning and that's what I love about what I do. No painting is the same!

  4. You have so much patience to do this so slow and perfectly! I get so impatient, I can't stand waiting for paint to dry. What is your secret?

  5. Ummm, I have a travel blow dryer next to my art table??! :•)

    Actually, Teri, I'm very impatient too, and usually, I have to physically leave the room OR I work on another section of the painting while one is drying. What I have learned is that if I rush something I am almost always NOT satisfied for it with it and then I have to fix it. Which means I lose freshness. Hope this helps!

  6. Looking really good, Laure. Seems to me that portraits are more difficult to do in watercolor? I dunno.. I've never tried one! When I work in wc it's usually landscapes.

    Liked your response to Teri... amen to all of that!

  7. Thanks, Teresa, I don't guess I can answer that question as I don't use (or at least haven't for a very long time) other mediums. There is a certain amount of forgiveness in any medium. I guess you just learn to work within those boundaries or find a way to challenge them.


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