Monday, June 11, 2012



Ensconced II: Roadie  © 2012 by Karen Mathison Schmidt
7 x 5 inches • acrylic on museum quality, archival GessobordTM

private collection • Poway, California

Here it is, folks: my first Roadie painting ever! And I’ll say the same thing I said the first time I painted Andy. I don’t know why I waited so long to paint him. I guess maybe I thought all his wonderful spots and half-and-half face were a little intimidating, but it turns out he was oh, so fun to paint. Here he is, sitting in my favorite chair, but looking so comfy and ensconced that I didn’t have the heart to make him move. Instead, sensing a portrait in the making, I took my phone out of my pocket and snapped a reference photo. 

As it turns out, I didn’t have to wait long before he had vacated the chair and was on to his next project: dragging a fallen tree branch out of the yard and trying to get it through the back door into the house.

Must be the Puppy Chow.

Anyway, here are my work-in-progress photos. My palette for this painting was Mars black, burnt umber, diox purple, phthalo blue, Hooker’s green, cadmium yellow light, Naples yellow, yellow ochre, vermilion, magenta, quinacrodone fuschia, and titanium white. 

First, the initial sketch in black. I used acrylic glazing medium mixed with the black for the gray areas. I wanted the sketch to be sort of finished looking, because I wanted to use just layers of glazes for most of the rest of the painting, with opaque colors in just a few places, and let the vivid underpainting show through a lot more than I usually do.

After the black and gray layer was dry (only a few minutes) I added glazes of magenta, cadmium yellow light, hooker’s green, and phthalo blue. I had in mind that I wanted to let the underpainting colors to be the main colors of the red quilt and the green blanket ... the reason I chose the magenta and green for the glazes in those areas. And Roadie had a lot of bluish highlights in his grays, and sunny highlights on the white of his chest and paws ... the reason I chose those glazes for those areas.

Next I started layering more color glazes, deepening the colors of the background fabrics, and adding purple in some of the cooler, shadowy areas. You can see that I also started lightening up his chest and paws with some opaque white mixed with just a touch of vermilion.

Next, those two different colored eyes.

Next I added some more opaque pale colors to define the lightest parts of his spots and to develop the area around his nose and mouth.

I continued to add more whites and light grays and greens to develop his coloring, added opaque light ochre, Naples yellow and green to the little embroidered flowers in the quilt. I also added some yellow glazing in certain places on the red quilt and the green blanket, to emphasize the highlights from the sunlight coming through the window. Notice that I also “redded out” the greenish shadow to the right of Roadie’s head, because when I stepped back and viewed the painting from a distance, the dark shadow was muddying up the distinctiveness I wanted for Roadie’s shape on that side.

Here’s the final version.

And here’s the actual dog:

1 comment:

Elizabeth McCrindle said...

Gorgeous but then I knew he would be :)