Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dudley, an Irish Springer Spaniel

Another Christmas commission, this is Dudley, an Irish Springer Spaniel who passed away quite a few years ago. He is a gift for someone's sister. Unfortunately she did not have any good reference photographs so I had to use some stock photos from the web to paint the dog. It was a long, frustrating process that reminded me why I usually only do commissioned work from clear, well lit photos. This painting required seven revisions, including one request to put it back the way it was before. Oil painting is not Photoshop and you can't simply hit the "undo" button. I regretted the decision to take this on every time I looked into the poor dog's eyes as he stared back at me from my easel. The suspense about whether my next version would be accepted or rejected did not add excitement to my day; it filled me with a mild uneasiness and an uncharacteristic nervousness when I opened my email application.

Dudley was a semi-permanent fixture in my studio for about 2-1/2 weeks. The painting was finally approved and I have no idea if the portrait actually looks like Dudley or is the embodiment of what several people remember him to be. He is living with his new owner and that makes me happy.

11 x 14 oil on canvas

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