The portrait of Cassie and Star is finished. I'd taken pictures of them quite a while ago for the portrait.
In the photo of Cassie there are some lights and shadows on her face that were not included in her painting. While sometimes shadows can really enhance a painting, there are times they can take away from it. As an artist, I never "copy" a photograph. The photo is simply a reference tool to help create the painting.
In the photo of Star there were many changes from the photo that were necessary. Right away the direction of her pose was wrong. I wanted her looking into the painting and not out of it. So, in the painting, the direction of Star is with her facing left instead of facing right. In the photo Star was squinting. Using other reference photos to verify the shape of her eye when it was not squinting, I opened her eyes up in the painting. The leash had altered her neck line and created an extra fold of skin along her jaw line. In the painting I smoothed down that fold of skin and painted her neck hanging regularly. I used one of my dogs as a live model to see how the neck would hang without a leash pulling back on the folds of skin. I hope you like it!