The Worst Background for a Dog Painting
|Backgrounds to Dog Portraiture|
Faithfully copying the dog painting from a photograph that features a cluttered background that draw the eye from the dog such as furniture or toys.
Using flash photography for the dog, resulting in a bleached-out version of the animal. Against a dark background, the dog’s face will appear cut out and two dimensional.
Applying paint over the background area as through glossing a skirting board, using one colour and uniform strokes.
Using a pigment that is similar in tone and hue to the colour of the dog such as a beige background for a greyhound, or a chocolate brown background for a Doberman, resulting in colours that sit uncomfortably against one another.
The Best Background for a Dog Portrait
There are several ways the pet portrait artist can paint a background that enhances the dog. The following tips might help.
If the photographic reference has lots of clutter in the background, edit ruthlessly. A small detail can be effective at creating a sense of space where the dog sits, such as the corner of a mirror on the wall or a chair. Less is often more when it comes to backgrounds.
Background Colours for a Pet Portrait
There is nothing wrong with using one colour in the background for a dog portrait, for this will add a classy touch to the painting that echoes of the old masters, but don’t use one colour for the whole area. Alter the tone or colour from one area to the other or leave expressive brush marks.
Using a contrasting tone to the pet will bring out the colour of the pet’s fur or eyes.
Dark forest green or rich browns will enhance a snowy poodle; pale smoky blues or eggshell will bring out a black Labrador. Similarly using a warm coloured background will bring out bluish highlights found in black fur, or using a midnight blue background will contrast nicely with the rustic colours of a Yorkshire terrier. A dog that has a variety of tones, such as a Dalmatian, would benefit from both approaches. I personally use a dark background to bring out the pales on the dog’s coat.
The Best Colours for a Dog Portrait
Rather than paint straight onto a white canvas, apply a thin wash of a neutral colour to gain a more accurate idea of the tonal values of the pet. This will prevent the dog portrait from looking washed out when the background is blocked in.
A lively impasto effect can be achieved if applying brush marks or broken glazes on the background to leave it looking unfinished. This will contrast with the high detail of the dog.
Oil Painting Glazes to a Dog Portrait
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