Next the size of the canvas, 24 x 3o is the one that I stretched by hand.
Figuring out a layout I liked and the commissioner was good with...Great time to get a feel and make corrections. I made lots of adjustments and do it right on the canvas ....I am not a big sketcher...I like to see the canvas in front of me...sort of like "A blank canvas" and try to imagine the design. I wanted good faces, a pecking order that makes sense to the commissioner and of course some accuracy. There is plenty of room for artistic license but you need to be on the money when it comes to the ones who know them best.
Background was decided...a loose rendering of maybe a porch suggested in the background which gives the viewer the chance to finish the story (they are sitting on steps) that was what I was going for ....also the colors are neutral, light and will fade away from the subjects.
You can see here that I switched dogs and put Maggie down in front. The commissioner also asked that I paint her with her ear folded back as she is often seen that way.
Now I have their faces with some life in them and their eyes are more alive...nothing worse than working on a canvas with "Little Orphan Annies" watching you while you paint.
I have cleared the decks of other work and am focused on this piece. It will be ready for gift giving time. I will be updating this posting as I go and you will see the changes as they occur.
As I always say....this is the ugly phase and I warn the clients don't get nervous...it will all pan out in the end.
To this day I have not heard of a disappointment ...I hope to keep that record going.
The commissioner of this painting asked that I share it here so here you have it.
Please stay tuned...as we travel this road together.