Some Work in Progress

The block in stage of a portrait of two dogs lying in grass in front of a house

Henry and Buzi.  24x30 oil on linen. Work in Progress.

Here's the start of a new painting.  I worked out the design on paper before starting the block in and I used several photos from the photo shoot to piece it all together.  I drew in the dogs gesturally with some raw umber and after that was dry I blocked in the rest and reinforced the dark areas using a mix of burnt umber and yellow ochre.


A progress look at a portrait of two dogs. At this stage the main features of the heads have been painted in.

I started with the dogs.  Partly because they are the center of interest of the painting and partly because they are the most interesting part to paint.  It took just over a full day to get this part done.


An in-progress look at the portrait of two dogs. At this stage the dogs have been partially painted and the background is being added.

This part of the background took longer to paint than the dogs.  In fact I listened to Lady Chatterley's lover, Crime and Punishment, and lots of music on Spotify while I was painting it.

An in-progress look at a portrait of two dogs. At this stage most of the work has been completed and some touching-up remains to be done.

At this point I have all the canvas covered.  I did the foreground a couple of different ways: in the original photographs it was all in shadow but when I painted it that way the picture lost the feel of being an integrated whole. I scraped that first try off and reworked it.

A completed portrait of two dogs lying on the lawn on front of a house.

Henry and Buzi. 24x30 oil on linen. 2014.

After sitting on the painting for a while I went back and repainted some parts of the foreground around the dogs (I had already scraped it back when the paint was wet). I also repainted the tree and glazed and scumbled some areas of the house.  Finally, I touched up some areas where the block in was showing through.

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