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New Challenge?

Would anyone like to do a pet/animal challenge?  After seeing the latest post of animals I want to try painting from one of my zoo photos again.  It can be of any animal you choose, pet or not.  It would be nice to see new paintings not posted here before.  I would start a new discussion starting April 1 for posting finished paintings.


  • After I wrap up a still life I'm working on (probably a week to go) I'll be moving onto a painting with an animal in it, so I'm in.  Studio paintings are taking me about 2 months to complete these days.
  • My old dog, Lilly, died three weeks ago.  We planted her ashes under a lillypilli seedling. We had her for 14 years. I miss her. Below is a photo of her two days before she died. She's gone gray and looks sad because she had bad arthritis. But I would like to paint her portrait. However, I've never painted a portrait and am very unsure how to proceed.

    The background in the photo is horrible but at that stage she wasn't leaving her bed so it's all I could get. I want to ask successful portrait painters (and there are a good number of them here) how they would approach this subject. Do I make a detailed drawing, block in the darks then the the mid-values and finally hit the highlights? I think I could do all that but I'm not sure I could capture Lilly.

  • @tassieguy, I'm so sorry.  Lilly looks so sweet here. I love your landscape paintings so I think you would do a great job on this.  I think I would approach this the same way as the landscapes. If you want to make certain to capture her likeness, you might do a 1" grid drawing.  Heck, you could even trace this onto your canvas. This painting is for you.  I usually paint in sections finishing one section before moving on to the next. Your background could be several values of the wood without the lines just to keep it simple so to show off Lilly. 
  • Thanks, Ronna. Your idea re the background sounds like a good solution. I could just use loose brushtrokes of brown and go from  darker to lighter across the canvas from left to right. I guess that would look ok. As for capturing a likeness, I'll use your 1" grid idea.

    Thanks heaps for the suggestions.

  • Little did I know that when I suggested this pet/animal challenge that I would lose my little 10yr old Chihuahua early Monday morning. It was quite traumatic. 
  • Sorry to hear that, Ronna. It's so sad. We love them and then they're gone. I wish dogs could live as long as people.

    I'm going to start my picture of Lilly this week.  When you proposed this new pet/animal challenge did you intend to paint your chihuahua ?

    I'm treating mine as a token of respect and love for Lilly.

    We can't bring them back but we can remember the good times we had with them. What better way to remember than by immortalizing them in painting.
  • @Ronna I am interested, but not sure I can meet the deadline. I will do my best and post if I get it done. 
  • @Ronna very sorry to hear.  Its very hard.
  • I am so sorry for your loss.  I've been there many times.  I just want to mention that I have a painting planned of a pet (our Mona Lisa, a rat terrier) in the next few months.  Too late for this challenge though.  But I'll be watching this thread with great joy if you decide to proceed with it.  :)
  • Thank you so much guys.   <3
    @tassieguy, I've painted him twice before so I wasn't planning to paint him for this. I have pictures of some parakeets.
    @jrbgolfs, @Summer, and anyone else, you're welcome to post your paintings anytime after 1 April even if it's weeks later.
  • Just a reminder.  There's still time to get in on this challenge.  I will start a new discussion on April 1.  
  • SummerSummer -
    edited March 2016
    @Ronna I have the photo and canvas board selected and I'm staining it on Thursday or Friday, weather permitting.  I will be painting from a photograph and mixing colors beginning April 2nd.  It should be done before the paints on the palettes dry.  If there are no hiccups, this will be my first COMPLETED  DMP Carder Method painting.  That's the plan.  Fingers crossed.  I'm in!   :)  
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