The dog in the lower left corner, Annie, was laying down in the reference photo. It was a challenging pose for the painting. What to do? Well, I have big dogs and I know what big dogs do. Big dogs lay their heads on the table and beg for food when you are eating....well, they do if you let them around the table while you are eating. That was the perfect solution. I'd have Annie standing with her head laying on a table. Easy - well, hopefully it would work out and be easy. Sometimes I have these ideas to put into a painting and one thing changes one thing that changes another thing and before I know it the "easy" wasn't easy.
The layout of the dogs was also a bit challenging like putting together a puzzle. How could I arrange them to make them into a complimentary composition. Rio was to be in the middle of the painting, that was requested. How I arranged the others was left to my judgement.
Long story short, with a goal of no one's ears being in anyone else's face, it worked out. The important factor was to have the subjects' faces as large as possible and fit in all those ears in a flattering arrangement.
Hope you enjoy viewing the painting as much as I enjoyed painting it. Thank you to Julie for entrusting me with such a large and important project.
Following is one of the proposed compositions for the painting. It was not the final placement as seen above. Also, we used a more recent photo of Rio in the middle - featured below the composition. Such an enjoyable project!!