This is Payne - he is an English Cocker Spaniel. If you've never met this breed, have to tell you, they are just adorable.
My husband I have been fortunate enough to travel with Payne and his family for a number of years. This painting has been planned for quite some time, but his family was waiting for him to mature so that his painting could show him at different ages.
The photos used for the painting were taken in different lighting scenarios - one with back lighting, several inside with no natural lighting, and one ideal photo taken outside in good lighting. The challenge was to get all his coloring correct and make all three images balanced in value.
Several times while painting, my mind was playing tricks on me and I'd really have to rework an area. My mind would say, "If that was dark, and you want it light, then what should we do with the values in the shadows?" Right brain left brain thing I think. Our minds do not doubt a photograph. However, in a painting, if something is off ...lets say anatomically, but that anatomy is what the photo had, the human eye assumes the artist did something incorrectly. Even if the painting shows just what the photo did. For that reason, I'm very cautious in what reference photos I use. There are often changes needed in the painting that are not in the photo. Or things are left out of the painting that are in the photo. Just depends on the dog, the photos and the lighting. Painting from photos can be a lot more complicated than one may think.
Thank you to Payne's family for having me paint your precious boy. He is like a big stuffed toy - but he gives kisses where a stuffy does not....