16 x 20 inches on canvas
acrylic paints (both standard drying and long drying)
reference: old family photo and my imagination
This painting idea started out with an old sepia colored family photo. I'd seen it around for years, and thought it just SO filled with cuteness. I couldn't help but add my own “bit of the story” by adding the tomato crate that the puppies are sitting in, and the much chewed upon sign with “puppys for sale”.
Since the photo was sepia colored or virtually black and white I got to invent all the colors on my own. I started out with my handy dandy home made color wheel and a slightly subdued colour scheme, you can see outlined in red. I picked out my paint tube colors and mixed up four little boxes of base colors for the colour scheme. I then did four “thumb nails” or itty bitty color try outs of which color scheme I wanted to go with.
I then took my pencil sketch and traced it onto the canvas. I double checked my composition strategy of the “Powers of Three” with four stretchy elastic strings wrapped around the canvas....two going one way and two going cross wise. This gave me marking that divided the 16 x 20 canvas into thirds.....AND.....most importantly gave me the four “sweet spots” that suggested where I might locate my most important parts of the painting. One was the head of one of the pups, and the other was the top of the sign: “Puppys for Sale”.
Once I had the relatively dull Model T black exterior finished with a few warm and cool touches, and put some mud on the tires and running board I was able to go onto the “ice cream work” of painting the puppies. Keeping in mind that so far I had just used the four base colors of red, blue,green and dark to paint the Model T and background grass, I thought I'd introduce a really warm brown to work with in painting the puppies. Both 'cause I wanted to emphasize the importance of the foreground puppy grouping using a new color and 'cause that warm brown was just how I'd always thought they'd look.
After finishing the puppies, I quickly painted in the tomato crate with the red“Vine Ripened” lettering. I had taken a photo of a bit of paper with “Puppys for Sale” printed on it. I had taped it to a box and taken a photo of it......so's to get the right perspective. I had crumpled up the paper before taking the photo in strong sunlight, because I wanted to show the texture of the folds in my choice of paint colors for the white paper. (Yes, white paper CAN show colors)
Frank came up with the perfect final “bit-o-cuteness” for the painting. He suggested that I have a corner of the sign chewed off and a bit of the remainder hanging out of the mouth of the most soulful looking of the puppies.