Well, life has returned to normal at my house, a temporary reprieve I’m sure – with six kids, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild so far, life is never without lots of stuff going on.  However, for the moment I am able to get back to work on Gus.  So now that I have my “map” of where I’m going I can start laying in more color and actual strokes of definition.  As mentioned previous there is a lot of warm color on this dog.  The original picture was taken close to a window with the sun shining in so it brought out all the golden highlights in Gus’s fur, so I decided to drop in some  Dark Chrome yellow undertone to those areas and I will build up the texture of the fur while allowing that glow to come through.  So slowly I will move about adding in strokes of local color working from light to dark and in the shadows, some dark to light while leaving out the brightest highlights altogether as I did drop in some white and ivory in those areas in the initial mapping.  The trickiest part for me in this portrait is the nose because there are numerous white and soft blue-white highlights and those need to be exact to be believable so I added some white and blue-white to those areas and will begin to build the indigo blue/black of the nose around those areas.  A little time-consuming and probably not the only way to achieve the effect but it’s my way and it works for me.  I’ve added a close-up photo of the dog’s head just to show you how the color develops starting from a very random sort of layer.

Gus4Zoom Gus4a

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