Thursday, May 19, 2011

Creating "Walking the Puppy" Painting by Deborah Ann Klenzman

 The first step to creating a painting is visualization.  I searched through photos of ladies legs, shoes, dresses, sidewalk scenes, and puppies until I came up with combinations and angles I liked.

Then, I sketched out my vision on a stretched canvas with pencil.  Once I was happy with the composition, I broke out my paint.  With this particular painting, I set my canvas upside down.  I like to paint this way because it causes me to focus on shapes and composition instead of the painting or a segment as a whole. Sometimes when we think in terms of a leg or an arm, we tend to paint it as we think it should look instead of painting it as it truly is.  I mean, often what we think we know is really based on illusion, and we end up painting it wrong.  By working upside down, we are forced to see shapes as they really are.

I began with the sidewalk, a good neutral color so that I could begin deciding my other colors.  I knew I wanted my lady to be in red, so I began filling in her shoes, dress and leash.  Then I was anxious to add flesh tones to her legs and arms.

At this point, I went back to working on the background. I still wasn't sure what to put in the distance.  I played around with bushes and a fence. I changed it a couple times, still not completely happy with the result.

Wanting to use an impressionistic style and connect the objects together with color, I dabbed red strokes into the bushes, sidewalk and background. I dabbed purple strokes into the sidewalk, the dress, and the legs. I also added her shopping bags with colors to compliment.

 Finally, I added the puppy.  At first, I painted in a cocker spaniel puppy.  It felt to dark to me. It was blending into the background.  So I painted over the first puppy with a yellow lab puppy.  Then I worked the shadows and the highlights for a more dramatic finished look.

I was still really bothered by the background.  So I darkened it with more purples and blues to create the idea of store windows.  Walking away from the painting for a day or two helps with problem areas that I'm not sure what to do with.  Seeing the painting with a fresh eye can make all the difference.

The majority of this painting was done within the first two hours.  Much of the time after that was spent looking at the painting and determining what needed to be done next or what needed to be changed.

This painting was created in anticipation for the Mutt Lynch/Dog Art Today art contest. About 100 paintings have been entered in this year's contest.  The winning entry will be made into a label for Mutt Lynch Winery's limited edition wine. First the public will vote to choose the top 10 paintings. Then a panel of judges will pick the best for the wine label.

You can vote!  Click on the following link.

From there, click the "Click Here" to vote.  Scroll down to the 73rd entry labeled "Walking the Puppy" by Deborah Ann Klenzman. Then click the button in front of the name ad "done" at the bottom of the page.
HURRY!  Voting ends Saturday, May 21st at midnight.

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