This is the second of two German Shepherd paintings I completed for one family. The photo reference was a little blurred on this but I loved the pose and felt I could see plenty to get a likeness and create a striking portrait.
I hope you enjoy seeing a little of Mak’s progress.

Mak’s finished portrait, 12″ x 16″ soft pastel

The photo reference of Mak was very tall in shape and the client wanted it to be cropped similar to Sabre’s portrait.  Although the background is quite busy, I thought it added to the portrait making it clear that Mak is next to water.  His coat has a wet look about it which I’ll want to try and capture.

First task as always is to get Mak sketched out and onto the velour.  I’m using the light sandy velour as it’s a great midtone for a brindle dog.

The background is quite simple once I’ve blocked in those while areas.  Shades of green build up the dark reflections on the water’s surface.

Starting at the top of Mak and working my way down.  I tend to work a little more loosely when the photo reference is a bit blurry.  There is definitely a lot that can be done with photos like this.  As long as I can clearly see their expression like I could in this one, I feel I can capture a piece of them and hopefully create something that is more in focus than the photograph.

Both eyes in and I’m starting to see Mak looking back  I love the colours in a black and tan dog.  All those oranges and blues really bounce off each other.

Apologies for the gap in progress, I think I must have got carried away on Mak’s big face.  I’ve worked down the muzzle area and starting to block in the tongue.

Working in lots of lilac and lighter tones to suggest the wet areas in his mouth.  Next I’m onto his chest which is tricky as it is all wet defined fur.

This area takes me a long time, blocking in the dark areas and then working up in tone.  Each piece of fur is nice and pointy so I’m trying to really define those so that it looks wet.  I’ll even added a couple of those wet bubbles of water on his coat as a final touch.

Adding some of the highlights on his right side. Using nice blues and lilacs to highlight his dark areas.

Here is a picture of Hairy Maclary posing so nicely with both finished pieces before I packaged them up for their journey to Scotland.  I heard that both pieces were well received and are now hanging proudly. I’ve also produced a blog on how I package the pieces up for posting using these two, so I’ll post that very soon.

To see more info on commissioning your own piece have a look on my pricing page here.

Thank for visiting and call back soon for more work in progress.