I love dogs.
At this point in my life I am without a dog companion, so it was with extra joy that I accepted a commission to paint Perry’s portrait.
I like having loads of photos to work from when I do a portrait, so I spent some snowy afternoon time with Perry, trying to get shots of her shape and markings, but she was often squinting against the glare, so her dad also supplied this soulful shot of her open eyes.
To keep the focus on Perry I minimized the background to the snowy field and treeline.
I like to paint in the background 1st. For this snowy scene I used resist to preserve whites in the hedgerow, then added very loose greens and dark blues in diluted gouache over that.
In the foreground shadows, which were very crisp and blue, I tossed on some salt to create the texture of snow.
Then I painted Perry in on top. She is 13, but her face has such a joyful, open expression. She spent a lot of her time that afternoon with her snout buried in the snow, sniffing heavens knows what.