Friday, 31 January 2014

Labrador Pup : January 2014

 "Labrador Study"
Yellow Ochre, Cobalt Turquoise and Winsor Violet
Winsor & Newton Shades

I am working on a new collection of watercolours for a spring exhibition in Hampshire this April. I am also creating exciting step by step demonstrations for my new book which will be launched in 2015 and on top of this I have been asked to paint a few pet portraits. This is where I have to confess that I don't accept commissions, purely due to the fact my time in my studio is where I paint from my heart, what I want to when I want to. This makes it very difficult for lovers of my cockerels, sheep, horse racing scenes or kingfishers for example if my paintings have all sold out in exhibitions. But I prefer to paint what I enjoy rather than what gallery sales dictate. In my world each of my paintings are of subjects I have fallen in love with and my imagination has leapt with excitement at the thought of creating each new piece. I have a beautiful collection of images that I can look through when time allows to paint as the mood grabs me and  right now my mood is drawn  towards painting animals. So if you have sent me an image please watch this space as I am curently working on a few pet studies.

My first lovely pet portrait is a rather worried looking, young golden labrador. The expression on their face is priceless. Either they think they are not going for a walk, or not going to have the treat in their owners hand. They are definitely looking at something intently with such a gorgeous face. They have tugged at my heart strongs and I couldn't resist painting them. I am sure if you own one of these  fabulous dogs you know exactly what I mean!

Because the coat on a labrador is smooth I am allowing watermarks in my painting to give the illusion of a sheen on their short fur. I am working in Yellow Ochre as my main base for the golden hue of  this labrador but to bring extra excitement to the shadows I have opted for a stunning Cobalt Turquoise by Winsor &Newton and heightened the drama with a touch of Winsor Violet for the shadows especially around the ruff section of the young dog.

As always I am not working from a preliminary sketch. My starting point was the right eye , closely followed by the addition of the left eye. Even at this stage I can feel the young labrador looking at me whilst I work.

My starting point, without a preliminary sketch,was the soulful eyes of the labrador

I have kept the "feeling" behind this painting very soft and gentle. Anyone who has attended my workshops will know that I actually " stroke " an animal while I paint,  meaning I use my brushes in soft sweeping movements as if I am touching fur following the directional line of the  dog hair.

This will be a very special painting and I hope to share it completed once I know where it is going, as in which gallery.

I love painting dogs. I love imagining the bond between each character and their owners. You almost feel as though you are painting "love" because the emotions from owning pets are so strong and very magical.

For now I need to get back to work but I hope you like this watercolour portrait so far!


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