Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Painting Lailah

This is Lailah. She is a German Shorthaired Pointer who belongs to a friend of mine. This photo was taken when Lailah was a puppy.

I decided it might be fun to paint a portrait of Lailah from the photo. It's been years since I attempted to paint anything 'real' (ie living or from a photo). I'm more of a geometric/graphic artist, and I generally have a comic-like style... so here's what it looks like so far.

I started by constructing the shapes and filling in colour using acrylic paints. I used a fairly small canvas (300mm x 300mm).

The I started adding in shading and details. It's not finished yet, but even at this point, it smacks of my comic-style. That in itself puzzles me, because after all these years, I still paint exactly the same way I did when I was a kid. Over excentuted features, bold colours, hard lines... I found a pastel drawing I did about 15 years ago whilst looking through a bunch of stjuff at my Mum's recently... and looking at this next to it, you can easily see the similarities.

Incidentally whilst painting Lailah, it reminded me that I have always been greatly influenced by Australian artist John Perceval (above, Boy with Cat 2). And I think it really shows, even to this day! His style is something I immediately identify with - his hard brush strokes and bold colours combined with emotion and comedy have always struck a cord with me. You can see Boy with Cat 2 at the Australian National Gallery in Canberra (I highly recommend a look if you get the chance!).

The hardest part of painting Lailah is the facial features - particularly the eyes. So I've gathered a few images above of painted dog eyes for inspiration as I finish the painting...

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