Velocity (or, Oops- Missed Again) coming along…

24 x 36"
The word “velocity” is from the late Middle English: from French vélocité or Latinvelocitas, from veloxveloc- ‘swift’. Defined, it means 1. the speed of something in a particular direction; 2. high speed. I think it a fine name for a painting of a Jack Russell Terrier.  Or, a failed attempt at capturing the entire dog.

I was having a hard time deciding on the background – whether to blend it all perfectly (as my somewhat neurotic painting habits would normally demand) or allow it to remain messy, with lots of visible brushstrokes (which is what I was aiming for, but can never quite do).  So, somewhere in between is where it is.

Still have to blend shading and do belly and add detail on the front paws…

Betty final

betty finalFinally, Betty is done.

One of the first things that I tell people when inquiring about commissions is that I don’t do the standard head & shoulders portrait.  There is nothing more uninteresting to me than the same old dime-a-dozen paintings of dogs just sitting there, looking at the viewer.  [yawn]

I can’t explain why Betty is portrayed in this way, except that the royal portrait style was how she presented, and is apt in contrast to how Addie presents.

I do assume, however, that this will be the only portrait that  I paint in this way!

Betty progress

Betty progress

When I look at a painting in progress, I will often plan in parts.  “OK, I just need to 1) work the darker blues and black into the face, 2) blend the side reds, and 3) add the highlights,” and it seems simple enough.  Then I start working and find myself redoing aspects that I thought were already done.  This week, it was like I hadn’t realized that  my glasses were smudgy, and once I cleaned them and looked at the painting, I thought “Oh, well, that’s just horrible, that part right there; that needs to be done properly…” And so, while I thought that this was going to be finished several days ago, I haven’t even gotten to the originally planned objectives because I’ve been dabbling elsewhere.

Betty (redirect)

betty 1

No, this doesn’t look anything like the sketch in the previous post.  Betty has very soulful eyes, and although the previous image carries with it a touching story, it failed to capture the essence that her eyes normally possess.  Betty is the wise older woman to Addie’s imp.  Betty is the regal queen to Addie’s court jester.

I like this image not only because it reveals her in more of a royal portrait style, but because of the contrast from shadow to light.  As it works up, the blues off of her black coat will come out, as will the soulfulness in her eyes.

Betty Begun

I suppose this looks more like a Rorschach test than anything else, but this collection of cryptic lines will, in fact, become a dog.  A Greater Swiss Mountain Dog named Betty.Betty begunAgain, my exceptional photography skills are exhibited (sarcasm alert). I tend to sketch very lightly, so capturing it in a manner which would allow it to even be visible was a challenge.

Addie (Almost Done)

addie almost done

The lighting on this dreary day is not cooperating with my attempts at getting a clear pic, but it’s a quick update.  I still have to do the muzzle and white, and all of the highlights  (which are everywhere, and cast a soft white outline around her ears and shoulder, too) – especially her eyes.  I always feel like the painting doesn’t come alive until these final touches are added, and can’t wait to finish this up in the next few days.

I softened the red background.  The trick here was finding a color that would expose the dark black while also allowing the highlights to pop.  The original red was too vibrant, which was competing visually with the face itself.