Sunday, January 29, 2012

Odin, the Great Dane Puppy

Odin, the Great Dane Puppy

This is an 8X10 portrait of my daughter's Great Dane, Odin. He is 160 pounds now, at least the last time I checked. His weight goes up daily it seems. The reference photo I used to draw the portrait was taken when he was about 10 weeks old. I gave the finished puppy portrait of Odin to my daughter as a birthday present.

When I began working on the background, I decided to try oil pastels, rather than colored pencils. I wanted to keep the background light, so the pastels worked out well for that.  They were also a lot quicker than doing the whole background with colored pencils.

I completed the background after drawing in the rough sketch of the dog, then began with Odin's eye. I used a combination of colors including: jasmine, goldenrod, yellow ochre, burnt ochre, dark umber, indigo and shades of gray. I darkened the rim of Odin's eye with indigo, sepia, dark umber and terra cotta.

The fur on the dog's head and back took many layers of colors. I layered cream, jasmine, yellow ochre and goldenrod for the lighter fur. For shadows like the wrinkles ontop of his head and around the ear, I layered goldenrod, dark brown, tuscan red, burnt ochre, sienna brown and black grape. I also used peach for the area between his toes, as well as cream and white.

I had to make sure that the shadows and highlights remained visible to give shape to Odin's snout.  I find black dogs or black areas difficult, so I really have to be aware of the shadows and highlights that are going on. To make the black areas in his snout have depth, I used many shades of gray, for instance French greys in various tones and cool greys. I also used layers of indigo, black grape, dark purple and lightly added black for more definition. These are the colors I used for the dog's nose, as well.

I applied four layers of workable fixative when I thought the portrait was done. After looking at it for awhile, I decided to add more layers of color overall to deepen the tones. Workable fixative is great because it allows you to make adjustments afterward. If I had used a permanent fixative, I would not have been able to add extra colors.

Take a look at the Step-by-Step slideshow that displays how I work with Prismacolor colored pencils and the color and fur progression.

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