Maggie and Florence - Oil Painting with Shared Process
Maggie and Florence
Commissioned oil-on-canvas painting
Hi all, today I would like to share a commissioned oil painting I completed as gift for my auntie's 60th birthday. The painting shows her with her dog called Florence. Florence comes from a rare breed called Saluki developed from sighthounds. They were referred to as the Royal dog in ancient Egypt and are one of the oldest known breeds of dog dating back 5000 years. You can see she is quite unique looking compared to other breeds and she had a reserved/quiet but also intelligent temperament when I met her.
Everyone including my auntie were very impressed and amazed with the final result making even one of her life long friends cry when viewing it. The whole painting took about 1-2 weeks to complete since it was done with oils I waited some days for the paint to dry before doing another layer or correcting work. Here are some of the photos of the process...
I first began with a pencil outline before painting over it with a layer of burnt sienna. The marks were too faint to be seen in this photo but i used them as a guide for later on. The underpainting just made it easier to paint compared to painting on a blank canvas. I used white spirit to thin the oil paint to make it easily spread on the canvas and mix with other paints (it was important to have a window open for ventilation as white spirit can be toxic). I then started painting the background with various greens and large expressive brush strokes.
This is a photo towards the end of the piece after completing several layers and corrections. Unfortunately I forgot to take more photos leading up to this point. The hardest part of the painting was the face, capturing her likeness and her personality. As the main focal point of the piece it was important to get right so this is where I dedicated a lot of time making very slight changes to the proportions and colours. This photo is before I made corrections in the face. The rest of the piece could be left impressionistic similar to the way the eyes blur the surroundings that they are not focused on. The blades of grass almost look like fire with their own wild energy, I made sure to point them towards the face to futher strengthen the focal point.
After all the hard work the finished result was worth it with all the reactions it had after. It took about 15-20 hours overall to complete over a 1-2 weeks time period.