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I'm a professional award winning Portrait artist from NSW Australia.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bonnie and the puppy

I created a commissioned portrait of Bonnie for Mel to give as a Xmas gift for her parents. Bonnie was old and arthritic and we made her younger in the portrait.

The family had to make the horrible choice to put Bonnie down a few days before Xmas and Mel took a photo of Bonnie sharing her bed with the new puppy they have.It was a sad situation especially so close to Xmas.
I loved the photo and here is the painting I am creating from it.

This is pretty rough but I'm just getting the placement on the canvas to make sure everything fits ok.I paint this stage with acrylic paint as it dries very quickly and it's easy to alter things.With oil paint you have to wait for it to dry as if you put different colours on top of each other it can make a dirty muddy mess.With acrylic you can put any colour on top as the underlayer dries so quickly and it won't be disturbed.

At each stage I am checking to make sure its getting more accurate.This is where I want to get the general proportions right as its much easier to fix here than if I've spent hours detailing etc and realise their heads are the wrong size!
Rough but not a bad start. Now I'll start to go over the underpainting with Oil paint.I'll have to start with the oil later as I've run out of time today.

Continued below -

 Here I've started top paint over the top in Oil.In the reference photo Bonny is looking down and looks a bit worn out so I've changed the painting so she is looking at you.The two of them have just been caught in the act of snuggling and looked up as you've walked into the room.


Here I've got the whole canvas covered with the general idea. I had a lot of fun painting this bit. I'll let them dry and come back .From now on I'll have to slow down. I'll do their eyes and nose and correct the colour and general likeness.I like the painterly look so hopefully I can still manage to keep that as I go along.So long as I don't worry too much it should be fine.

Next session

Here I've done their eyes roughly and painted more of Bonnie. 

Next session I'll leave Bonnie for a while and concentrate on the puppy and the background.I want the finished painting to be more painterly and unfinished than my usual portraits but capture that cuteness and bond.

Below-A few painting  sessions later

I've done a bit more detailing on both dogs and filled in the canvas with colour generally.

The Finished painting.
'Bonnie with the new puppy'
 30 x 40cms  
 Oil on gallery wrap canvas
Bonnie had to be put down soon after the reference photo was taken so in the painting .I've made Bonny younger and in her prime so that the painting will bring back happier memories.

This is what I mean by a gallery wrap canvas.The painting can be hung as is - no need to frame. Obviously the painting will look much better when it is displayed on a wall rather than my grotty easel..lol's
You can frame them if you want to.They need a different sort of frame as they are deeper in the side so there aren't quite as many choices . More than enough though!

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