Lucky for me his person is also a very competent photographer so in addition to the photos I took when they visited, I was also supplied with a selection of great shots that gave me insight into the dog's younger years. For the portrait pose we selected a photo that was taken recently but it was the owner's wish that the dog, who is now getting on in years and looking a bit grey around the muzzle, be given a more youthful look. For that, I referred to the earier photographs.
I often intend to photograph a portrait in progress but it usually goes out of my head completely once I get engrossed in the project. However I'm pleased that I documented several stages of the process of creating this particular portrait. (I apologize that that the quality of some of the photos is not great; the lighting I use at my drawing table is ideal for drawing but not for photography.)
|Step 1 - Soft drawing in medium French Grey.|
|Step 2 - Mapping out the values and beginning to add colour|
(I like to understand the anatomy of my subjects, hence the image of the skull)
|Step 3 - The portrait begins to come to life|
|Step 4 - Further refinement|
|Step 5 - Almost there!|
With helpful input from the dog's owner I'm now in the final stages of making some subtle adjustments, but here is the more-or-less finished portrait:
Creating any portrait is, for me, like embarking on a long trip with a new acquaintance. There's a saying that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and in this context that single step is my first pencil stroke. As the journey progresses and I fill in the details, we get better and better acquainted, and by the time we reach our destination we've become firm friends. That's how I feel about this big guy!
I hope you've enjoyed sharing this particular journey with me.