Cliff has sent me these pictures of a neighbours dog he has painted and has asked for any tips as to how his picture could be improved.
The angle of the nose on the left side could be altered slightly to line up with the yellow line. The back of the dog is misshapen, dipping in instead of a more rounded look (see the black circle). I also suspect that the back of the dog is straighter than in Cliff’s painting although it is impossible to make this out on the photo. I have indicated this by the white line on the photo which I think would look better.
There is not enough shadow under the head as indicated by the blue arrow, this would help to bring the head forward from the body. The red circle at the bottom of the dog shows where I would adjust this area, Cliff has slightly exaggerated the detail and it is a little off putting. Although it is not easy to see due to a rather vicious light in the photo the back paw needs to be altered, again the detail here has been exaggerated, see the green circle.
One last point, the tail of the dog looks like it is sticking out of the side of the leg, this could easily be adjusted by adding shadow to the tail where it meets the leg giving the impression that the tail is in fact much longer, see black arrow.
At the moment Cliff has not put in a background but I would certainly suggest one is added as it will complete a competent piece of work. What I would do is start with a generous application of the light grey over the whole background, blended well into the pastel paper then the medium grey added to that. I would then apply a stronger tone either 175 or 181 under the dog to create shadow depending on whether the cool or light greys were used. It could be left like that but other tones could also be applied such as 187 blended into the grey mix to add a touch of colour.
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