I've been working on this painting for a number of days now - long days (not an hour here or there - more like 10 hours a day. My arm is sore and my eye hurts.... goes along with the territory)
The reference photo is an old photo that was taken on a very sunny morning. As a result one side of the dog's face is too shadowed and the other side is almost whited out. So, my quest is to balance the lighting while maintaining the wonderful effects the light has created with the shadows.
On the right side of the dog's face I've reduced the shadows and brought the eye more into view. On the left side of the dog's face (the right side of the painting) I've found the bone structure of the dog and brought in slight shadows. These shadows will give the dog's face depth and roundness instead of a flat light area.
I've also eliminated the collar. Some people prefer the collars be left on their dogs in my paintings. That is a personal choice - no wrong or right answer. In this particular painting the dog's owners wanted the collar off.
Will post more as the painting develops.