Thursday, January 28, 2010


Freja is a beautiful old girl of mixed breed origins. Her family met with me last September with a request to paint Freja from a photo that showcased her regal bearing and wise brown eyes (in spite of the witch's hat propped on her head!). Meeting Freja in person that day helped me to see the subtleties of her coloring and the gentle demeanor I wished to reflect in the final painting.

Freja's coat is an array of gray-black fur with a striking white bib. Mixed in with the grays and black is a bit of brown that suggested brindle coloring. Gentle and alert, her character shines in eyes the color of Sedona rock.

I worked primarily from one image which posed the challenge of working with flash photography. Freja's fur was cast with blue highlights from the flash, which had completely obliterated the subtle brown hues in her coat. Having several varying poses in natural lighting helped me to capture her coat's true nature.

*This painting is roughly 9x12, the optimum size for this type of portrait. The nature of watercolor requires a matted frame which can add up to 6 inches all around the painting itself.