Happy Christmas to everyone and welcome to my blog post on painting Bud the Weimaraner. Bud was part of a two part commission for one family.  Both were a bit tricky due to the dogs having passed away some time ago and photos weren’t ideal. However, it’s great working with a client who can really explain the dog’s character to you and every part of their appearance to help with capturing a bit of that.
I hope you enjoy my progression of Bud and a little of my travels from the last weeks when I was working on him.

Bud’s finished portrait, soft pastel 12″ x 12″

This was the photo I based Bud’s portrait on. With the unusual Weimaraner colour it’s tricky to paint them in certain lighting so I was trying to base it on one of the outdoor pictures. I also liked the setting and the diagnols running through the image and thought I could find a nice crop within it. Using this and a mixture of other photos of Bud, I managed to find a nice tone for him.

I used the light grey velour which seemed like an obvious midtone choice for his coat colour as there is a warmth to the grey. I’ve sketched out his head but left the backdrop as that will be pretty loose.

Some of the darks added to the background and using those small circles of brightness to give the impression of the sunlight coming through the trees. I find I use big dots in these backgrounds. Nothing has a very hard edge and marks can be much looser.

Starting to layer up some of the greens and purples in the foreground. Also starting to picking out some of the dappled sunlight hitting the bluebells.

About to start some work on Bud and the first thing I’ve done around his outer edges is to pick out whether its a cool or warm highlight. So down his left side where the light is hitting him, those will be warm yellowy peachy whites. The cool side of the dog will have all blues and lilacs.

Starting to find the texture on the top of Bud’s head where the light is hitting. I spend a long time putting down different colours trying to find a way to layer it up to appear like the colour. There is no set Weimaraner colour really, they shine many colours that from a distance appear this beautiful mauve grey. I love them, but they are a head scratcher to paint!

Working on down using very little grey, but mostly blue violets, fleshy pinks, and oaty beige.

While I worked on Bud’s portrait in the back of the camper, I had an encounter one evening with a small kitten and a large dalmation dog. After rescueing the kitten from the jaws of the dog I took her to a local vet in the South of Tarifa. There she got operated on for her broken leg. I want to thank each of you who entered my art raffle to help raise the money to pay for her operation. Alone I could not have afforded it but I was able to get her sorted and even by chance found her a great home where she’s landed on all four happy paws. So thank you to all who helped Brigid Bright Eyes!

A little before and after shot of the night I found her, and how well she was doing the last time I saw her.

His face almost done although even at this stage I have a lot of work to do on the right of his face. Very little texture is required here to give the impression of the soft coat but I need to add a lot of subtle marks to indicate his fine velvety coat.

I loved the collar as part of the composition. We agreed on removing the tags but I really thought the collar added a spash of colour and another diagnol to the picture. I also start to block on down his body using the dusky blue violets and deep fleshy pink.

Sharing a close up from Bud’s eye. You can see the subtle slightly blended marks in different colours.

After getting finished up with Bud’s portrait I took a weekend home to Northern Ireland to visit family. I hit pretty lucky and got a beautiful snowy weekend, which at my parent’s house of Christmas decorations, put me in a festive spirit! I also got to pick up my prize from a recent Jackson’s Art competition.  A heeuuge set of Faber Castell Pitt pencils which I can’t wait to put to use.

I came back to the camper in the South of Spain well refreshed and brought home a special gift from my sister who is very good at crotcheting. This blanket will be treasured!

Merry Christmas to all from Brocci and Hairy Maclary. Looking forward to sharing a few more Christmas surprise portraits over the next few days.