This painting of an Irish Setter was done from a professional photograph (with the photographer's consent of course). The dog's name is "Magic" Ch. Marlyn All About Magic.
There was something "Magic" about the photograph. The dog is so regal - so proud. The photo was taken outside and the way the light bounced off the flowing mahogany coat took my breath away. When I was asked to paint the dog I had so many ideas!
I worked from a total of three photographs with the primary reference pose being a photo of Magic standing in the show ring with his handler. The other photos were used as additional reference material for me to make some changes to his muzzle and tail in the painting. The party commissioning the painting had no preference on the background. With the highlights on the dog's coat it was natural for me to make the background dark to draw the audience's eye to Magic's face. I used the lighter color reeds to minimize the attention to the highlights on the body coat. My overall goal was to lead the viewer to Magic's face but keep them engaged in the entire painting.