Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Someone to Watch over Me - a Beautiful Process

Meet King. A good friend of mine asked if I could do a painting for a friend of hers. The woman who had King had been through  some rough times, and Lynn wanted to give this to her as a loving memory of King. King's owner wants to hang the painting in her newborn daughter's bedroom as her guardian angel, hence the name of the painting.

My drawing

I wanted to start with a color study, as I was going outside my usual territory. The colors and mood were to be light, and I do have a penchant for the dark and dramatic. I started with a wet in wet all-over wash using quin. rose, quin. burnt orange and cobalt blue. I dried that, and then mixed a blue-grey for his coat color and applied that w/w.

A bit more w/w with a warm and cool grey.

The eyes and nose, again w/w, using orange, pink and indanthrone.

More work on eyes and nose.

This morning I had a good idea for the background. I wanted to use a "lost and found" technique so King would seem to emerge from the paper. I scrumbled some orange, pink and cobalt blue, keeping the warmer colors up at his head. I'm not sure if I am finished yet, but I must admit I really like how the painting looks. I wish all my paintings came onto the board this easily - mind you, I did spend weeks thinking about it and planning.

The original drawing is 15 x 11 inches, and the color study is 11 x 7 inches. I wonder if I can create the larger painting as well as the color study???

Thank you so much for dropping by!!


  1. Wow, King looks fabulous, I love the soft washes in the background! I also paint 'in my head' before starting a painting. :)

  2. The lost and found technique was perfect for this portrait Kathryn! Love this piece!

  3. Oh my gosh Kat! We watched each step... step by step... as your magic paint brush stroked the canvas,,, We watched each detail come alive!!
    How do you do this,,? Your magic.. You "feel" what your doing,,,That is why you can,, and do! King is spectacular!

  4. Dear Kathryn- amazing likeness. Your work always shows your careful planning. I am sure this painting will be loved by the owner. The title is perfect too. How is Bruno and Maggie? Hope fine. Hugs!

  5. Beautiful! I imagine this will be a wonderful guardian angel in the baby's room :)

  6. I´m sure you will do a lovely bigger painting :)

  7. What a handsome dog! And you have done him justice. It's gorgeous!