Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Portrait Marathon update: Tuck progress

Lori and I had to work out a better reference photo for Tuck, but we finally settled on this one.  This is cropped and enhanced to usability.  I had to recreate his muzzle just below the nose where the picture ended before his nose did.  Look at that sweet houndy face!  Isn't it interesting how he has one dark inner eyelid, and one light?

Once I had the image where I wanted it, I had to work out a background in keeping with Tuck's mood.  So, nothing bright and whimsical, in other words.  I decided to go with a dark green, low saturation, for a way-back, fading into a lighter green to the upper right.  Below that, on his bedding, I didn't want anything so light that it competed with Tuck's light face, so I ended up going with a very warm, deep red.

I printed out my reference, and took pencil to canvas.  The sketch makes him look scared.  I'll have to be careful to get his expression right.  It's a matter of a hair's width around the eyes!

I still had some bits of paint on my pallet from the previous portrait, so I used some of the naples to wash in a pale warm tone all over Tuck, only reserving his muzzle.  I mixed up some burnt umber and some kind of blue (??) to make a greenish dark tone, which I laid in in the upper left, and used to make some really awful shadows on the bed.  Urk.  Well, I'll just have to fix those, won't I?  Then I used some red I still had to get the color started on the bed.  Way too pink!  No worries: I can get that color where it belongs.

Once I'd yelled at myself about the background, I figured it was time to clean my pallet and start fresh.  Having done that, I squeezed out some goopy burnt umber and Prussian blue hue, which is a favorite combo for me to make deep darks with, bending it warmer or cooler depending on where it is.  I used that to get the first layer of detail in the eyes, the nose, the one toe pad you can see, then lighter for various other shadow areas.

I almost didn't show you this stage, since it's ... well, it's "ugly".  But I thought it might be interesting enough to see how it can go from one of these OHMYGAWDIWRECKEDIT stages to an acceptable final product.  Either that or I'll let you know I tossed it out and started over.  

That's where I leave you tonight.  Tomorrow will have to be kind of a short workday, since T-day dinner is at our house this year, and the dust yeti are going to take some corralling.  Not to mention food prep.

What's your main dish this year?  I'm going to attempt my own version of a Tofurkey (for those who are not in the know, I'm a vegan).  But, since it will be a seitan version, with no tofu in it, and hopefully it will be stuffed, I'm dubbing it "Satisfied Devil".  (Get it?  Stuffed seitan = satisfied devil?)  (Okay, never mind!)


  1. I don't see ugly. . I see my old man! Lookin good Xan!

  2. Oh, good! So, the pink doesn't scare you yet, huh? LOL! This morning, it's kind of grown on me. Maybe I'll leave it pink!

    Nah! He'd never forgive me!


I can't wait to hear from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.