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A Pet Portrait with Imagination

My friend Anne's husband Michael, contacted me a couple months ago and asked if I would paint a portrait of two of Anne's favorite things. That would include the following:

  1. Anne's golden retriever Libby:

She's adorable right?

2. Cardinals

The actual birds, not the sports team.

As you are probably aware, cardinals do not make their home in Oregon. If you are unsure, here are the facts:

The northern cardinal can be found in most parts of United States east of the Rocky Mountains. It is also found in parts of Arizona, California, and New Mexico.

So with that in mind, I thought and thought, about how I would put both Libby and a cardinal in the same painting.

I used the app Procreate to try out different size dogs and cardinals, and backgrounds.

Here are some of the ideas I considered:

This was my first idea. I found this picture online and thought it might work well if I substituted Libby for the bear. I also added another cardinal into the picture using Procreate.

I found this snow scene online and added a cardinal sitting on the branch using Procreate.

Then I imported into Procreate the actual image of Libby and I added another cardinal. I was trying to adjust the sizing of the images. I was still using a snowy backdrop at this point.

I tried to incorporate a cardinal up higher on a branch with a snowy background and some leaves.

I'm not sure why I was stuck on using a background with snow. But then I started to consider that Anne's birthday is in March, (which is the beginning of spring), and this painting was going to be a birthday gift for her.

So, I changed some colors, still using Procreate, to make the grass green without the snow and then I added Libby to the scene.

NOTE: That is Libby's head on another image of a golden retriever.

Anne's husband Michael wanted the sizes adjusted so Libby and the cardinal were larger and the main focal point of the painting.

After making adjustments I was ready to sketch the drawing and then paint it on watercolor paper. This is what I came up with:

Anne really liked her gift.

Thank you for reading my blog.

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