I was asked to paint a very special portrait as a brithday gift to someone who thinks the world of Murphy. I love creating portraits of animals for the people who love them. Hope you enjoy his progress and little of my travels while painting him in Italy.
My initial line drawing on the velour and ready to paint. It took quite a while to draw out the straps but it will save me time later in having those in place now. As always I draw out on thin cartridge paper and transfer my sketch onto the velour as you can’t rub out on velour. This gives me a chance to tweak the drawing some more in that process until I’m sure of the proportions.
Working on the background and blocking in what will be a blurred or out of focus bokeh background. I’m working from two different photos of Murphy which you can see onscreen. One provides me with the basis for a nicer background.
The colour I’m holding here is a slither of a very light lilac. The photo reference shows him being hit by sunlight on one side which leaves more than half his face in shadow. There will be no white used on that shadow side but many shades of light blue, peaches and lilac.
You can begin to see how that light and shadow trick will work with the brightest white being saved for that sunlit area. I’ve also started working around his eye and am pleased to see him looking back at me now!
This past week we have made it across the North of Italy to Venice. It’s a city I’ve always wanted to explore and it doesn’t disappoint! Maybe I will get around to creating a Venice themed painting from some of my photo reference.
I liked this pink haired girl sitting sketching by one of the many little bridges. Everywhere you look is fit for a drawing or a painting. We only had one day to look around so I left my own sketchbook in the van!
I did however try to capture a few of the lovely gondollas for a possible painting. I liked how this boat is looming out towards us, it’s a pity everyone sitting in them had the phones in front of their faces!
Leaving out most of those straps until the end. I did the top one across his forehead as this forelock came over it and I wanted to get that done while my hand had somewhere to lean. For now though I’m just concentrating on his face.
The slither of land we are on is called Isola Albarella. If you look it up on map you can see we are totally surrounded by water on both sides and it’s just a small road leading out onto these almost islands. Here’s Brocci doing some bird watching. There is so much life here, insects (not so good!) lizards, many bird species, and we even pick up a mouse or two. Thankfully they jumped off when the van started but I suspect that won’t be the last of our mouse encounters!We stay at the first beach a few days and then move onto Goro where we can park at the harbour. This is where I get the last day’s work done on Murphy while these fishermen sit outside my window all day.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my progress on Murphy. Here is a little close up of his face showing the detail in his halter as well as the texture of his hair.
If you have a portrait in mind have a look on my website in the pricing tab or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks for visiting my blog!