Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Parker - Original Painting

Here is a painting just finished of Parker, an Irish Setter.     His owner sent me a fabulous reference photo and I couldn't wait to get started.   Not only was Parker's pose wonderful, the background was lovely.   Photos are my road map.   When you are traveling, a map (or GPS) can help you get from point A to point B.  The same holds true when painting a commissioned piece.   I need a map to get from a blank slate to reach a painting that is indeed truly a specific dog.   As an artist, I use liberties to make the composition stronger than the photo.   For this painting, I wanted Parker as large as possible while keeping as much background as possible.  If you look at the reference photo at the bottom of this post,  I've dropped the skyline, added darks where needed and reduced areas that were too dark in the photo.   The water is more emphasized in the painting and more colors were incorporated into the foliage.   There are more "reds -burnt sienna" in the foliage and grasses to create a color harmony that ties into the color of Parker.  In essence, I closely followed the photo, but made something distinct and different - a stronger composition.

I always like to know a little bit about the dogs I am painting.   It turns out, Parker was Lindsey's first Irish Setter.   For those of us who have the breed, we know they are smart, can be independent and have a lot of energy.   When I read what Lindsey sent me about Parker, I had to laugh.   Here is what she said....

My 1st Irish Setter and he taught me so much about training a dog that wasn’t as pleasing in temperament as a German Shepherd. He had a mind of his own and he was very determined. Parker could give you a look that screamed “do you think I am stupid?” The day we took this photo I had been working with him for months on obedience commands and was so proud of him for being such a good boy for the photos.

 Thank you for  having me paint your special boy Lindsey, it was an honor.  He was a gorgeous boy.

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