The dog, all done

All dressed up

All dressed up

I worked mostly on the dog portrait this week. I fiddled around for a long time on the pencil up because the pictures were not the clearest, but I think it turned out well. Black portraiture is so hard for me. Too little of the black and the subject looks grey. Too much and it’s all shadows and little delineation. Consequently, I was hesitant to start with the watercoloring.  I am sure glad that I did those black cat portraits a few months ago.  Finally, I just dove in. Fortunately, the picture had the added interest of the scarf to lighten all of that black.  She said it was one of her favorite  pictures and I can see why. I do use a small grid for the pencil up accuracy and then do most of the inking with a loose, light touch.  When I am satisfied that there is enough delineation, I  remove the grid so I can see the photo better and I erase the pencil guidelines.  I rapidly add the watercolors, mostly daubing splotches here and there until I am satisfied that the essence of the animal is there.  I don’t want to over do it and suddenly make it into a photo like representation. I’m not good enough for that.  Light and loose seems to work the best for me in this case. Next up is the office building.  She finally got back with a few more photos and details and I am inking it up now.

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DixCutler
    Nov 27, 2013 @ 11:31:26

    It’s charming.


  2. Cindy D.
    Nov 27, 2013 @ 19:55:48

    Adorable, what a face! I think you’ve done an excellent job on him.


  3. castiblanc
    Nov 28, 2013 @ 02:54:24

    i like so much how the scarf makes look the dog. Is so cute, and about the technique. I dont believe you, when you say that the black portraiture is hard for you. You did an excellent job.


  4. craftgirlsworld
    Nov 28, 2013 @ 10:00:11

    Ahhh the dog is so so cute and i love the scarf 🙂 I have a dog so i really like painting of them


  5. Carlee
    Nov 28, 2013 @ 14:09:09

    Wow I love it! I can understand being leery of painting with black – I did a black dog too a couple years ago and it was HARD. On top of that, watercolour can be difficult to work with because of its transparency so good for you 🙂


  6. Carlee
    Nov 28, 2013 @ 16:21:34

    Yeah that would help 🙂 I think I tried to do mine TOO detailed… something you found just the right balance of.


  7. LadyGrave
    Nov 29, 2013 @ 09:41:39

    This is really good! Very expressive and life-like, and it definitely has artistic style and doesn’t look like a straight-up copy from the photo.


    • ruthsartwork
      Nov 29, 2013 @ 09:57:57

      Yes, I was going for more expression rather than a straight up copy, so thanks. I also think that if I get the eyes right, everything else is a bit easier. That is why the less rigid my animal art work is, the better it seems to be. And I think the actual piece is better than the photo. Black art is hard to photograph too. LOL


  8. lesliepaints
    Dec 02, 2013 @ 16:07:09

    OMG! Excellent, Ruth!!!!!


  9. foresterartist
    Dec 02, 2013 @ 19:20:29

    He came out awesome! I want to pet him!


  10. lindahalcombfineart
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 06:03:48

    Absolutely beautiful. You captured her sweetness and sense of


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