Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

Every Picture tells a story – realistic and stylised animals in art from Manic Illustrations

Dog Portrait Photographs for a Painting

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Dynamic Lines for Composition

I was asked by a friend to paint her endearing little terrier cross called Gus.    Not every photo will make a good painting.  The dog can always look cute, but  the overall shape of the pose can be uninspiring, and less interesting to behold as a final painting.  The outline should be what I would describe as dynamic, that is is must have a variety angles as you would in any interesting composition no matter what the subject.

Gus Commission Dog Portrait

Finding The Photograph for the Dog Portrait

 Getting photos off your client can sometimes be difficult.  They cannot locate them, the ones on their phone are not good enough quality, or the photos they have found do not have that certain “something”.  At this juncture, if you know your client it might be good time to offer to take your camera to them, get out on the common or the park and mooch about taking pics as you go.  You could go for a photo shoot which is a more pressurised environment and may be your only solution, but make sure you snap away and take loads of shots at the dog’s eye level.  It can be difficult for owner to take the best pics of their pooch because their pooch only has eyes for them, the moment they bend to take a good shot Mutley is bounding toward the lens itself!

Gus terrier dog

Cute but…..

The photo here is sooo cute, but look at the outline it is basically an oval.  By accentuating detail in the head  I could have got away with this but it would really be more of a head shot.

This was not what the client had in mind, she wanted Gus on the go which would have been an impossible round indistinguishable shape with all four paws off the ground!

Gus terrier dog

The photo here is not detailed at all and again is a sort of oval shape.

Finally…..

So we settled for an “out in the field” shot, Gus looking very pleased with himself.  I placed Gus centre stage, and enjoyed the detail of showing his happy character.

So if your client is slow to get a photo to you, arrange to get a good number of photos yourself if you can and then offer up the best of what you have which is inspirational for you too.

Gus dog portrait                   Gus Commission Dog Portrait

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Author: DianeY

Illustrator Artist

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