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Getting Started

Full size photo of Duke

This photo shows Duke in his yard, but his face is wonderfully clear.

Duke's face cropped

I create a pleasing composition by zeroing in on Duke's face and cropping the photo.

I choose to paint from photos.  Getting a good shot is not always easy – most dogs do not grasp the concept of posing.  I had to paint the puppy, Kiley, right before she fell asleep as it was the only time she wasn’t moving.  

Duke, my “process” model, had recently been put down, and his grieving family supplied me all of the photos they had of him.  There was one particular photo that really caught his face and eyes.  I was able to crop this to capture a close-up of his face.

A word about my medium - oils or acrylics .  For especially fluffy dogs, I like to work in oils because I love the fluidity of the paint.  You can actually make it "squish" if you so desire.  It stays wet (art term: open) for a long time and is therefore very blendable on the canvas making it easy to blur edges and paint the effect of fur.  Although some colors and components can be toxic to the artist, I find the scent heavenly!

For short haired dogs and a more contemporary feel, I like to work in acrylics.  This medium dries much faster and the end result is a little less detailed but has a more contemporary feel.

email:     phone:  253 409-5108                         © CathyCrawford 2015