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Friday, September 26, 2014

Dog Portraits: Freckles 1 & 2

Behind every painting commission is a personal story. When I accept the commission I view it as an invitation to enter that story. I feel honored every time. The portraits I completed this week feature the same dog, Freckles, in two stages of life; as a shaggy, sweet puppy and now in present day, as an older, wiser, faithful companion.
Freckles The Puppy
10 x 8", Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson
Stage 1: The drawing. With a thin wash of burnt umber paint and mineral spirits, I draw the image of Freckles with a number 2, filbert bristol brush, freehand, using several photos for my reference. My goal at this stage is accuracy. If I capture his likeness now the rest of my job is so much easier.
Stage 2: Blocking in the underpainting. This is such a fun stage. With a large brush I lay down the paint in blocks of color knowing that some of it will  show through the top, thicker layer.
Stage 3: Completing the painting. This final layer is done with brush strokes placed with intentional variety and color. The background represents where Freckles was photographed, in a pale green, grassy field.
Freckles
10 x 8", Oil on canvas
Rita Salazar Dickerson
Stage 1: The drawing.
Stage 2: Blocking in the underpainting.

Stage 3: Completing the painting. Freckles, as an adult, lost some of his pronounced markings. I also had to take in to account the changes in his hair and the way it fell. One trait that did not change was his alert, vibrant energy.

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