Thursday, 24 June 2010

Miniature Smooth Dachshund - Tim (work in progress)

Photo 1 of WIP

As promised, I have made the effort to take some photographs of my painting process during my latest commission. I'm just trying to make up my mind whether to include them all in one post or do a few! I think I will post all of the WIP's - there are 3 of them - in one post and then the final painting in its own one. I hope this will be acceptable.

In the above painting, I have drawn the outline and some important features of the dog, painted in the wash blue background and started laying in the base washes on Tim himself. I hope you can already see that in some places there are several layers of wash. I think this is a place where new watercolour artists often have some problems, in that they either make their washes too wet and disturb the colour underneath with a resultant mud effect or put the watercolours on with too little water, making them look harsh and unrealistic. I would say obviously practice is required and also a lightness of hand/brush.  

Photo 2 of WIP
In this photo you can see even more layers added and I should have mentioned in the previous photograph, that there is just the tiniest hint of grass in the background. I suppose one other point which is relevant as far as I am concerned, is that I have painted in Tim's eye with a fair amount of detail even at this early stage. I like to do this with 'my' dogs as I feel then that I have a relationship with them - I imagine that sounds a little crazy, but that's me!!

Photo 3 of WIP
This photo shows  the layering in of brush strokes to form the hairs. As I've mentioned previously, I don't paint the hairs invididually as I'm not very fond of the effect. Instead I splay out the hairs on my brushes (not very good for them by the way) so that I paint several hairs at one time. I also go over many areas with a brush very, very slightly dampened with clear water to blend in some of the hairs. This is a difficult operation to complete successfully as I am trying to get the watercolours to lose a little of their colour and run slightly but so slightly that it is barely visible. Yes, sometimes it goes wrong and needs gently lifting and repainting.
This is the last of the WIP's and the next post will be the final painting.
If you have any queries, please either leave a comment or email me at and I'll be happy to help. 
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