Sunday, August 02, 2009

Aug 2 - Dog Painting Taking Shape Now!

As I continue to paint in the large shapes of the upside down sleeping terrier, I am very aware of the values of each of those big shapes. Notice the difference between the left front paw (in light) and the same white rear paw (in shadow). Values matter!

One subscriber asked, "How can you be sure to get accuracy without a drawing in place?" Good question! As I paint, I am judging the relationships among the various shapes. I learned from Richard Schmid while he painted a portrait from a live model in Scottsdale, that he is always doing comparisons from a known measurement. Sometimes he says it is the space between the eyes, or the diameter of one of the lenses of the wearer's glasses. For me, in this painting, I am measuring the height and length of the dog, and imaginary horizontal and vertical lines across the composition. For example, I'll imagine a line going across the tip of the leftmost paw, and then see where it intersects the other paws in the source material. I'll place the paws (as I did with the hind feet in relation to that left paw) either above or below that horizontal. This is a basic drawing skill, and one that can be learned with a good class in drawing.

For me, accuracy isn't so much about duplicating the source material, as it is about getting the "feel" of the animal and what it is doing. If it is only accuracy, then a photograph with today's modern digital tools would be "good enough". I'm an artist first.

Did you enjoy Frank's illustrations from yesterday? I hadn't seen the one with the Joker. Heath Ledger would be proud!

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