I’m in Daaawg heaven! Oil painting demo… How to paint a Dog…

I was looking for an article I had written when I came across this demo I did a while ago and thought I would share it with you again. This time I have it step by step so you can follow the progress.

Here’s a photo of Montana, I love his beautiful smile! I used some artistic license to create a playful element and a pleasing composition.

I began with a 11″ x 14″ canvas I primed with 3 coats of Gesso and sanding lightly when completely dry. Not too smooth as you want to have some tooth for the paint to adhere to.

Montana On my easel

Next, I tinted the canvas with burnt umber thinned with oms, applying it with a brush.

Burnt Umber paletteTinting my canvas

Then smooth it off with a neatly folded rag. If you bunch up your rag, it will leave marks on your canvas.

Smoothing it out

Next I drew in Montana with a brush and Burnt Umber thinned with very little oms. Stay as dry as possible.

Drawing of Montana

Once drawn in, I begin filling in all the darks with a mix of Burnt umber and Ultramarine blue thinned with a little oms, still being careful not to over-saturate your paint with oms.

Adding darks

I mixed Ultramarine blue with a dash of transparent red oxide, plus white for the blue skies and for the clouds, I mixed some white with a grey I made with transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue. For the lights I mixed white with transparent red oxide and a tiny dash of Ultramarine blue.

Montanas palette1

The colors I’m using for this painting are; Transparent red oxide, yellow ochre, Ultramarine blue, Burnt umber, Titanium white Alizarin and cadmium red.

Once I had laid in my darks, I filled the background with blue skies and clouds, placing Montana on the beach, his favorite place to be.

Blue skies

I painted in the yellowy brown colors above and below Montana’s eyes. I mixed Transparent red oxide with yellow ochre. To darken the mixture I added some burnt umber.

Montanas progress1

I then added the blue grey markings on his forehead and nose and blended the fur with the white color which is Titanium white with a dash of transparent red oxide and tiny dash of ultramarine blue and grey.

Montanas progress2

I then painted Montana’s eyes with Transparent red oxide, a dash of blue and burnt umber. Next, for his tongue, I mixed a dash of cadmium red, grey, alizarin and white with a teeny dash of yellow ochre and white. The grey I refer to is a mix of transparent red oxide and Ultramarine blue.

Montanas progress3

Next I painted in Montana’s teeth with some transparent red oxide, a dash of yellow ochre and white.

I premixed my greys. Actually I always premix all my colors, it’s much easier in the long run even though it takes quite a bit of time preparing my colors, it still saves me time and hassle in the end. For the browns in the fur I mixed together some transparent red oxide with yellow ochre and a dash of burnt umber.

Montanas progress4

I mixed some titanium white, a tiny bit of transparent red oxide and a tiny dash ultramarine blue and a tiny dash of yellow ochre for the white fur; to which I ad a dash of gray made up of burnt umber and ultramarine blue. It’s a little tricky working the dark and the light fur without greying the black. I used a clean brush with every stroke from black into the white fur so that I didn’t grey any of the black fur. I left little bits of the underpainting showing through and that warms it up from the inside out.

Hope you enjoyed the progress picks and how I develop a painting.

Montanacompleted

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Plein Air Painting – I know how easy it is to lose control of ones palette……..

I woke up the other morning, craving fresh air. I’ve held myself hostage indoors for way too long. It was time to get out and  do something exciting for a change. Marc worked on my easel while I prepped my canvas, mixed colors and readied myself for Plein air painting. After bundling up, we head out into our yard and set up my easel next to the creek. I’ve been wanting to paint this little creek since we moved here.

plein-air-at-the-creek1

I had the most amazing experience. Yes my fingers were red from the cold, but it was soooo worth it! I went out again yesterday and today and it was really warm out. This afternoon I set up my easel right on the waters edge and thoroughly enjoyed painting in glorious sunlight all afternoon. I’m so looking forward to spring!

plein-air-at-the-creek2

One thing for sure, is next time I plein air paint, I’m going to go fully prepared!

I know how easy it is to lose control of ones palette…..

In fact I had this experience yesterday, I should have filmed it to demonstrate how to lose control of ones palette, hahaha!

Experience taught me to always pre-mix base colors at home and adjust them as necessary later, so you can get to painting and not spend an hour mixing on location. Trust me, it really saves time. You only have limited space on your palette, so plan carefully where you are going to place your pre-mixed colors so you can have room to work.

You’re probably wondering what these piles of premixed colors are? Stay tuned!

I know I had planned on giving you a video on how to paint a still-life, unfortunately we lost some of our video footage. Too bad, because I put so much work and effort into it. I withdrew and painted quietly, posting on occasion. Ready to give up. It was all of your emails and notes encouraging me to keep at it. That you were so appreciative of all the content I had shared in the past and how much it helped you. It was all of you and all of your support that motivates me to share my passion for oil painting with you. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for sticking with me.

Here’s something you’ll Really Love….  a video I filmed while painting a creek in our back yard. 48 minutes of painting close up!

Still wondering about the premixed colors? Plein Air painting on Salt Spring Island with Naomi Grindlay

 

Enjoy!