"Feyd" silken windhound portrait, work in progress, stage 4 8" x 10" acrylic on canvas panel © Xan Blackburn

#12 2014 Portrait Marathon: Feyd the Silken Windhound

My time and energies have been pretty well consumed by taking care of my poor sick Katie, but you all deserve an update on the marathon, namely #12, Feyd, the silken windhound boy.

Starting with this lovely, and intriguingly duo-chromatic reference photo, I decided for the portrait that he needed to stand out from the background a bit better.  My photoshop stage brought me to this dramatic sky feel, which picked up some bright blues you can just see reflecting in his eyes.

 

Feyd reference photo (© Alison Brendel)
Feyd-xref

Those eyes are going to be fun.  You can’t actually see his pupils at all, and half his iris color is lost in the reflections, yet you still have this sense of an intense gaze, with the scenery just a glimpse in his eyes.  An interesting play: the background is almost entirely inside the subject, rather than the other way around.

I never had a moment’s doubt that this painting would start with a raw umber underpainting.

The next phase, you can see that I’ve begun to add the Payne’s gray, which will be worked throughout to deepen the shadows, but also add the blue-gray tone that is his second main color.

The fourth stage (larger, above) shows where I am right now.  It’s pretty far along for the underpainting, and you can see that I’m working both lighter and darker to obtain the complex feel of his coat, with silky areas alternating with frizzy-downy areas, all being gently fluffed by a breeze.  I think I’ll put in some of his eye color next, just for fun.

Okay, back to it!

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