We'd taken photos of them last year on the East Coast. It is so much fun to photograph dogs and then see their personalities show through in the photos. Their reference photos are shown at the bottom of this post.
When it was time to do the painting we settled on two lovely photos as the primary reference material. For Carly, our favorite reference photo had her mouth open just a tad. So, in her image in the painting, I closed her mouth. For Colleen, she was squinting a bit, so I opened her eyes a tad more than in the reference photos.
The beauty of painting is the freedom in using reference material. I am not locked into using everything in the photo. I can omit, add, enhance, downplay, and or create whatever is needed to make the painting something special and unique. Of course, the better the reference material, the more I can put into the painting. Photographing animals is not easy. My hat is off to professional photographers - wow - their job is one I greatly respect.
Thank you to Anne for having me paint your gorgeous girls.