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A Small Portrait of Hannah

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A portrait of our yellow lab, Hannah

A Small Portrait of Hannah. 9x12, oil on linen panel. 2015

A small painting of our dog, Hannah, that I painted this afternoon. I started it as a workshop demo which was subsequently scraped off - this is a smaller version or the original.

I had already done a value study and a color study. That's a lot of preparation for such a small painting but in the end it helped to smooth out the wrinkles and I was able paint with a more delicate touch than usual.

We didn't get a chance to cover everything in the workshop. Here are some of the design choices that were made:

 The painting is based on a large, warm shape in the light next to a cool, smaller shape in shadow.

  • The center of interest is the ear. There is a convergence of the light, shadow and reflected light in one small area.
  • All the darks are connected and form a "U" shape.
  • The background is a mix of warms and cools that darkens in a counter-clockwise direction. This makes a spiral of increasing value starting at the center of the painting and working out.
  • Edges are softer where the radius of the form is large and harder where the radius is smaller.
The plan was to paint the entire canvas but when I reached the bottom I liked the unfinished look so I stopped there.