Monday, February 29, 2016

"Molly" A Dog Portrait

"Molly" pastel dog portrait

Looking through a pile of old portraits, I came across this one of Molly the Bichon Frise.

She was a charming little dog who loved her tennis ball, so of course it had to be included in the portrait. She lived in a house with green shag carpet, a perfect backdrop for her snowy white coat. 

When I delivered the portrait, her owner seemed a bit underwhelmed (never a good sign) and sure enough, a day or two later she called to say that the portrait was not quite right; it just didn't look like Molly. I dutifully retrieved the portrait and examined the reference photo closely, and to my embarrassment realized that I had gotten Molly's head too narrow and the ears not right. 

Making corrections on a pastel portrait is fairly easy, and in no time "Molly" was looking like her real self. This time the client's enthusiasm was more genuine when I delivered the corrected portrait, and she has since told me how much she loves it. 

Sometimes one can get too close to a work of art and fail to see the flaws. I have learned to avoid this by standing back often from the easel, checking it frequently against the reference photo and looking at the work in a mirror where mistakes are more obvious. No artist, however accomplished, is immune from this myopia, so I've learned to be aware and to not flog myself when it happens. 

Thank you for stopping by. 

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