I am thrilled to present my most recent sitter...Snooky. Top image...how I wish it was the one below!
Sadly, Snooky passed away a while ago, the dear pooch pal of a dear friend of mine in NYC and her family.
He was as much the part of her family as the husband, and kids. And had SUCH a personality. The loss of Snooky was painful for all who knew him. And I knew my dear friend was crushed. We all were.
I started this portrait just after his sad passing promising my dear girlfriend I would try and paint him for her - during her grief.
I am not a dog painter. Look to Terry Stanley, http://dogdaysofpainting.blogspot.com/, for how it should be done. Terry is doing some amazing dog portraits for an unbelievable price along with helping dog charities. She is a wow. So I put Snookie to one side...for a long while feeling a bit embarrassed that I hadn't delivered to my friend.
It was in my studio for close to two years. I didn't think it was good enough. For many months I was wondering if I should go back in or start all over again. So once again it was turned against the wall.
Somehow today, in my new studio, with a new energy that a new studio provides, I picked up my painting of Snooky and realized I had caught Snooky. And I really realized I liked what I done. Not perfect but I liked it. Just a few strokes more,,, and I knew I was done.
Funny how that happens after a long passing of time. My original plan was to paint him in a very classical way and that is what held me back.
The two days I painted this from my heart, I did it with a palette knife, orange and blue color harmony, just trying to go for the shapes of his head, not details....painting is all about the shapes, values, color vibration and losing detail. A dog, a tree, an apple, a human face. All the same really.
But my rendition of Snooky wasn't classical. It wasn't like those incredible Victorian dog paintings, (like Sir Edwin Landseer, 1802 -1873, see above painting) I had seen in her husband's yummy art collection.
I think I got intimidated. But as my mentor, Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., says, it IS important to paint in YOUR own time period. That is also of the reasons I like Terry Stanley's current dog portraits. They are fresh and modern. And who should even try and paint like Landseer? It has been done and DONE well.
Anyhow, I am glad the passage of time helped me see that a painting done from the heart on a certain day with a certain contemporary vigor, has value. And I am glad I didn't mess it up today when I added those few last touches. I was mindful of that!!!
Hope you like Snooky! My friend has yet to see it.
He was a darn good pooch!
This is 12" x 12".