Immortalized In Paint

Last Sunday I had my painting session to paint our dog Nellie. After reserving my spot, I had to send a picture of her. This is the one I used and although it's several years old, it's a good one.

What they do is print the same picture in grayscale onto a canvas. It was cool to walk into the room and see them all lined up and ready to come to life. This is mine. They include the original for color/shading reference.

Next we had to choose an instructional sheet on a background we'd like to use, or you could just do what you wanted. That would be for people that knew what in the heck they were doing. That sure wasn't me. I followed along and since the background was a small area, it didn't take too long.

Now onto the fur. Not supposed to use all black, that's used for shading. So I added brown with black since she does have brown in her. Using short small strokes makes for more realistic looking fur. I worked as fast as I could but still wanted it to be darn near perfect. If it was any old picture I wouldn't have cared as much, but I was only going to do this once and it meant a lot to me. As I was making perfect fur, the instructor was on to talking about how to to do the nose, eyes, and small details like little gray hairs. I couldn't watch though because I was under the gun.

That's the problem with these classes. Three hours may seem like plenty to finish a picture, but for this particular one I think it needs to be longer. It was always rush, rush, rush. Finally I have everything done but the nose, eyes, mouth, and collar. 

It may look like it would take only a few minutes to finish but these were the hardest parts. Since I missed the instruction, I had no idea what to do. I filled in the nose all black but it looked like a big black pig nose. The artists are floating around the room so I raise my hand. Nearly in tears I ask for help. They are not allowed to do it for you, but can only tell you what to do. This wasn't fun anymore as class was over. She told me that I could take some paint home to finish. Well can I take an artist home too because I don't know what to do? 

It was time for the group photo but I wouldn't get up. I said I wasn't finished and wasn't going to stand there and proudly show off my pig-nosed dog. Here's poor little me, sitting all by my lonesome.

I got help finishing the eyes and nose and went on to the mouth and by the time I got to the collar I was just jabbing on colors. The greenish color I wanted was all dried up so ended up with teal somehow. I also had to add the fine grey hairs and whiskers and finish the bottom edge. I was there a full forty minutes after class ended. It was embarrassing. 

Considering all of this though, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I can see parts I wish I could still work on but hopefully no one else would ever notice (except my Mother, the artist). The picture now hangs proudly on our wall and Nellie will be a part of our lives furrever!


Grumpy said…
I think it turned out great. I would know that is Nellie right away. Good job.
Valerie said…
You made a better job of it than I would. Be proud, it's quite an achievement.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas in case I don't get round here nearer the day.
Sherry Sikstrom said…
it may have been frustrating but you did a great job!what a wonderful idea
Anonymous said…
I think you should be proud of yourself; it's beautiful, and a wonderful remembrance of Nellie!
Mr. Shife said…
Sorry for the frustration, but Nellie looks fabulous. Great job, kden.

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