This is the second painting of Syrah. The first painting showed her as a young dog in a meadow surrounded by brilliant purple blooms.
In this painting the owners wanted to reflect Syrah as she is today - 14 years old. We took a volume of photos of her. We photographed her in her home in several rooms, outside in the front yard, on the side yard under the arbor and the cherry tree blossoms, in the backyard on a chaise lounge. There was one photo that was precious to her owner and it was a photo taken at a down angle. (this was a private photo taken by the owners)
We all went back and forth discussing what photo would best capture Syrah at this point in time. The background of the painting was definitely going to be the arbor and the cherry blossoms. That simple fact knocked out the favorite photo taken by her owners looking down on Syrah (which is used as her computer screen saver).
The final decision was to use all the photos. I had taken a photo of Syrah laying under the dining room table with her woobie toy as a pillow. The angle would work for the cherry blossom background. The favored "screen saver" photo would be used to adjust the chiseling on her face and capture the her beautiful. Working with her owners to accomplish this painting was a joy and we are all very happy with the results.