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Davinia the Cavalier King Charles Spanial
I am a big fan of TwoLittleCavaliers.com so when I saw one of the photos of the Cavalier named Davinia, I just had to draw it. Felissa was happy to have Davinia's portrait done and has given me permission to post the progress here. Here is the photo I am drawing from and was seen on the Wordless Wednesday post from May 23rd, 2012. Sketches will follow as work is completed.
I will start out by doing basic sketches in pencil. The sketches will be simple at first, then get more complex. Once a final sketch has been completed, I will begin the finished piece. I am thinking of doing it in pastels since Davinia has really beautiful flowing hair.
In the first sketch, I do light penciling to get the proper shapes and proportions. (I apologize for the photo quality of the following 3 sketches. I sketched this during a pet event and used my phone to take the photos.)
Once I think I have it right, I start adding more definition. I concentrate more on lines than shading at this point.
Next I start adding shading to the eyes and nose. For me, the eyes are what really helps me determine if I have it right. I think the eyes look good in this sketch but I am just not seeing Davinia in them. So I will do some modifying on this sketch until I think I have it right.
Here is a modified sketch where I fixed the proportions to make it look more like Davinia.
Sorry it has been a while since I last updated my progress. I am taking a summer course towards my business finance degree. Summer courses are intense because you have to learn so much in such a short time. So Davinia here was put on hold for just a bit. But I have finally finished the final sketch. I think this looks more like her than any of my other sketches.
Now that I am done with the sketches, it is time to consider the finished piece. What medium will I use? What kind of paper or canvas? Will I do a mostly realistic style or will I stylize it a bit? Davinia has such beautiful silky hair so I need something soft. This rules out colored pencil and probably acrylic paint too. Oil would be another option, but I am too impatient with oils. Oil takes a long time to dry and once I get working on this, I probably won't want to stop and wait for it to dry. Watercolor can be soft if utilized right, but I am not adept enough at watercolor. So I am going to go with pastels. I prefer soft chalk pastel over oil pastel because chalk pastel blends better and can bring out that softness. Since I am doing pastel, canvas is out. I need a soft pastel paper which has some texturing in order to hold the chalk, but not too much texturing so as not to add roughness. Time to go shopping to find just the right stuff.
The next question is will I do it mostly realistically or stylize it a bit. Realistic would be like the artwork I did of Sam. More stylistic would be like the one I did of my dog Maya sleeping (right). Notice I used off-colors for shading. It is a really fun style to do as it makes the artwork more original and not just something which looks almost exactly like a photograph. Davinia's mom already has the photograph, so perhaps I should try to stylize it a bit. I'm not sure how yet. I will have to think on it some more.
After much consideration, I have opted to keep more on the realistic side than the stylistic side. Davinia has such soft features that using anything else would take away from that softness. You can't see it well in this photo below but I have selected a brownish pink acid free pastel paper. Acid free will allow the paper to last a lot longer than regular paper (regular paper will turn yellow and brittle within a relatively short amount of time.) This paper is somewhat smooth with just a little bit of graining to catch and hold the pastel chalk. Now that I have selected the paper, I use a really soft charcoal to trace the outlines of my sketch onto the paper. Charcoal is dark enough for me to see it on the paper, but very easy to remove with an eraser (we don't want the black charcoal to interfere with the pastel colors).
Friday, July 20th:
Sorry it has been so long since I've updated. I just got finished with my summer course and have free time again. Davinia is almost done! I expect to get this finished within a week or so.
Davinia is Done!
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