Picking the "photo of choice" winners from each week was a lot harder than I had anticipated. I was able to narrow it down to at least 2-3 per week, but then I just could not choose the tie breaker. So I had to result to putting the names in a hat and seeing who's name came out. It was so close though, I had a few names that were runners up for more than just one week. I wish that I was able to paint them all and offer them all free portraits, but I have to be realistic and know that I will be hosting more contests in the future. The contests are fun and it gives me an idea of where people are talking about My Paw Portrait and spreading the word. But it's mostly for me to give inspired by new dogs and their unique photo's, so even though someone might be winning a free or discounted portrait, they are helping me to stay inspired.
For April, I plan to take the month to catch up on my commissions, as well as, painting and drawing the winning portraits from March Madness. I'll most likely have a 2nd annual Yay! May! Pet Portrait Give Away! since it was a blast last year, especially since Ruccus picked the winner. He will have to make a cameo appearance again, however I will have to think of a new innovative way for him to choose the winner. I think that is the most fair way for a contestant to win the contest, the fact that it won't be based on Facebook "like" votes and it gives everyone a fair chance at winning.
But enough about the contests- I said I would share some work in progress photo's as I worked on my commissions and I just completed a portrait of a dog named Dexter who lives in Canada. He was gorgeous and so much fun to paint since he was on a large canvas, 18" x 24". The only requests from the owner was to have the background color match his blue binky. He took up most of the canvas and I wanted to pay special attention to his soulful eyes and soft brown and white coat, as well as his big floppy ears.
In the first image of the work in progress, I was working on his head and ears and really trying to capture texture in his coat through his ears since he had these little fly away hairs. In the work in progress 2 photo, it took me forever to capture the right colors and texture for his nose. I kept blending the black, with unbleached titanium white, and then some burnt sienna and burnt umber with a little bit of the flesh tone pink until I finally achieved what I thought looked like his nose. It's interesting because when I blew up the image of his nose, he had so many colors there in different highlighting areas that it might not look like there is that many colors in his nose, but there are. I also mixed some turquoise with the brown tones to create the depth in his coat around his face. And whenever I work on a piece, regardless if I think a section is done, I inevitably wind up going back to that section and making it darker or lighter because of whatever new element I've added had made that area to look muddy. Then you have the completed split screen photo and a larger image of the completed painting. Here you get to see the punch of blue in the background to match his blue binky. I've always loved how blue tones up against brown tones create a beautiful harmonious relationship within a piece. I can always paint funky and bright colors, but I love how soothing these colors are and how they are a bold in their own way. I was very pleased with the way Dexter came out and his mother is eagerly anticipating her custom painting!