Looking To The Light - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
Here is the finished portrait of little Sydney who I wrote about a couple of posts ago. I feel a bit tearful now she is finished and in a way am reluctant to stop working on her. I suppose that maybe it is the close relationship an artist feels with her/his subject which is the reason for this - I feel now I am letting her go.
On a practical note, I hope you can see the amount of work which has been put into her eye since the WIP - I sometimes think I spend as much time on eyes as on the rest of a painting! To those who wonder how such a small area can take such a long time, I can only say that I keep altering the expression until I feel it fits the dog. As I explained in the Charleigh Bear Boxer portrait, this means that it will not always be the same as in the reference photograph, or even if the same, some parts will be exaggerated and others played down. I would also point out to would-be dog portrait artists, that you should take note of the eye shape - it is so important and so frequently got wrong and remember not all dogs of the same breed will have identical eye shape. After all, breed standards, which are blueprints as to the ideal of a particular breed of dog, are very open to interpretation and of course mongrels or mixed breed dogs will have a huge variety of eye shapes.