Black Lab Portrait Continues

Huck2_72The client selected the sketch of Huck the black lab on a shaggy rug so that we could focus in on his face. The biggest revision was softening and making the colors in the background lighter and less intrusive. I started the painting by laying down the darkest shade of every color first–so with a black dog–I put down a layer of solid black, then came in with lighter blue-grays to depict highlights that create the feeling of volume in his form.

I worked on his eyes very early in the painting process because they are the focal point of the painting–and it was important to make sure they stood out against his dark fur. I started them with a layer of warm golden brown, then added darker browns for more depth. At the angle they are in the photo–we can see the curvature of the eyeball. So I painted a slight reflected light on the outside edge of each eye.