Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This portrait painting of two Labrador Retrieves was fun and challenging.  The background was requested to be reminiscent of the ocean.  Finding a nice flow of colors and variations was an interesting exercise when combined with making it a nice backdrop for both a black Lab and a yellow Lab side by side.  I always use some of the background colors in the animal colors.  I enjoy using a very limited palette for all of my paintings and strive to get color coordination by using the same few colors throughout, mixing my own rather than opening another tube.  In this case, the black coat is actually a mix including blue from the background with ochre and sienna and those colors are used to create the yellow Labrador's coat.  You may note in some of my previous Labrador paintings that I tend to use Alizarin crimson and Pthalo green as my favorite black mixture, but that would not have blended as well with the background and yellow Lab.  It is a good exercise to make myself use different combinations.

Did you think I used black paint from the tube to create a black Lab?  Nope - that was one of the first lessons I read about in attempting to teach myself to paint and I'm so glad I did.  Mixing colors adds much more richness and I love how each one peaks through as I shift the balance of the mixes.

Color challenges aside, both the owner and I love the result!  These two Labs are getting older now, so the owner asked me to turn back the clock a bit and take out some gray.  I may try that on a self portrait - LOL!

Would you love a pet portrait of your own?  Visit my OtterTail Dog Art Portrait page for basic information and then contact me.