Louise has sent me a picture that she has painted of her Australian Shepherd that sadly passed away some time ago and has asked for any tips I can give her to improve the work. This picture is now mounted and framed so Louise will not be making these adjustments to this picture but the tips will help with future projects.
First let me say that this is a very good picture considering the photograph is rather a poor one. The main point I would mention is the ‘halo’ on the background that runs all around the animal. This is a common problem and is one that can easily be overcome, all that is needed is here and there bring the darker tone right up close the subject; I have placed several white circles where this could be done.
The pupil on the eye on the right is slightly out of alignment with the left eye, the black pupil needs to shift slightly over as indicated by the red arrow on the eye inset. A good tip on how to check the eyes are correct is to cover one eye up (without touching the pastel) whilst looking at the other eye, check where the eye is looking then swiftly move your hand to cover the other eye and note where the exposed eye is looking. You can do this a few times and you will be able to make these corrections easily. Test this out on the photograph above left both of these eyes are looking in the same direction, here you can use your finger to cover the eyes. Now do the same with the painting on the right, you will not that the right eye is looking slightly up and to the side.
For more help with correcting animal eyes, read our blog post here.
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