Saturday, June 18, 2016


This is Maggie, a beloved pet who belonged to my friend Mike. I had been telling Mike I'd paint her portrait for him but his only photo of her wasn't the best reference. I finally decided there was enough info in the photo to give it a go and after asking Mike a few questions about her to fill in the blanks here is my result.

I have been admiring Vickie Nelson's animal portraits on Facebook lately so I wanted to apply a similar treatment to the background in Maggie's portrait. Vickie isn't shy when it comes to backgrounds often going so far as to surround her critters in vibrant, colorful abstraction. It shouldn't work but it does. The subject doesn't seem to get lost but becomes a part of the whole composition. Rather than a BG that gets slapped on at the last moment to keep the main subject from looking so lonely on the paper it becomes a stage for that particular pet's favorite toys, a favorite blanket or just a bunch of colorful shapes, patterns and/or textures. Anyhoo, I love the look so I tried it on Maggie. Mike told me she loved to ride in the car so I gave her a '57' Chevy-ish car all her own. I think it suits her.

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