Sunday, February 3, 2013

CRITIQUE 4 - Cassie Dog

images below are copyright protected to Artist Jan Stickland and are not for use other than in this post as a learning tool.

Besides a general critique, Jan inquired about what texture and colors can be added to the black fur. The colors used in the light fur are yellow ochre, burnt sienna and white.  
Actually, a very lovely painting as is!  Such a cute pooch!  This is Cassie!


Details - In any painting, the first thing I consider is the placement of components in relationship to the overall object and in relationship to each other.  Keep re-checking as you paint to make sure shapes and angles remain as you intend.  

A dogs face can be very difficult due to foreshortening of the muzzle, shading, unfamiliar angles, etc..

Another issue is to make the dog look aged. hard sharp lines make the face appear younger, soft sagging lines give the appearance of age. Also a few gray hairs around the muzzle.

I often say "if you get the eyes right, much else will be forgiven" So if the eyes are on target, the viewer will not care if you miss a speckle or spot here and there! lol Jan did a marvelous job on the eyes - so alive and right to Cassie's character!

After the eyes, I would pay close attention to the shape of the black part of the nose, the muzzle and the shape of the white spot draping across the muzzle. The dogs lips also offer much insight and are an added bonus to further understanding Cassie's character.

I determined that the upper paw in the original painting detracted from the facial portrait so I moved down a bit, to be less of a focal issue. The lower edge of the dog's legs and body would appear more natural if softened and with more shading. Added detailing and shading on the cushion would add to the illusion she is set down into the surface.

For fur, I would first lay in the light and dark areas with whatever color you are using or burnt umber with a dark blue, maybe a squeak of black. As long as you establish the lights and darks that create the curves of the body. You can glaze these over the existing dark color so they blend nicely into each other along the edges and do not make spots. It may take several glazing layers to reach desired results. Then, you can dry brush in fur on top in a slightly darker or lighter value. I might experiment with some mauves and blues in the white and also the ochre and dark areas - just to break up the very yellow, ochre and dark dark darks... lol

A black or white object has much reflected color in it - so for instance, in the white chest, could have some blues, pinks violets etc all the while, the overall look is "white"

Thank you so much for allowing me to critique your painting -
Best Regards, CJ Rider
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