Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Ellie Mae - a Pet Portrait Commission

"Ellie Mae"  (pastel, 10x10 inches) sold

Ellie Mae was the beloved dog of a good friend's sister. My friend had texted me a photo a while back with a request for a painting. The photo was a download from facebook.
Needless to say, I immediately asked her for any possible clearer file of this image, which resulted in a screen shot of a zoom of the same image. ...Hmmm.
Well, she's a very good friend and one of my top collectors, so I had to try my best.

I wasn't really happy with this, and my friend was wise enough to be a good critic.
During much consideration over the edits that it needed, I somehow scrolled backward through her texts and discovered that she had actually sent two photos of Ellie Mae, and that I had only seen the second one.
This was the first one:
Woah! I felt rather silly having missed it and wasted all that time on a bad photo.

So, after a few minutes of deliberation over whether to try to fix the first portrait, or to start fresh and work from this much better pic, I decided to try something a little different.

I decided to do the fresh portrait right over the bad portrait.
First I wiped off the old portrait right down to the underpainting and re-primed the board with a combination of some old white Art Spectrum pastel primer (that was so old and gooey it took 30 minutes of watering and mixing to make it usable again!) and some of my usual terra cotta and gold primers, until the old dog image became the new!

I kept the flowers because I liked that part.

 (The old white primer needed three layers to cover the previous underpainting well enough to take a layer of the gold..)

 (...and more terra cotta to cover the black parts..) Then re-established the drawing...
 (Here the camera changed from Panasonic to iPhone, and different lighting... otherwise these two images are the same)

Thanks for watching this transformation! Please share!


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