Art from around the world and around the corner
 

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Jody Whitsell
 

I’ve always loved animals – especially dogs. Their loving expressive nature makes them wonderful subjects for portraits. What makes all dogs unique is their distinct personality, and in order to capture the “essence” of the dog, I rely on a photograph that portrays typical mood or expression. I then sketch it on a 36x36 canvas. The large size allows me to make the dog larger than life, and the square format lets me be specific in the placement and cropping of the image. I generally have a portion of the dog visually leave the canvas, to accentuate the “in your face” characteristic, I strive to portray. I also enjoy using the composition to accentuate what it is that I find interesting or unique about each dog. Then come the fun part, which is painting the acrylic portrait! How much joy, companionship and pleasure our canine friends give us! How better to convey this then through an expressive use of color? I study the portrait sketched out before me and feel what color is needed in the background, which starts the energy flow of the painting. The bold contrasting colors, loose, unhibited brush strokes and repeated layers of colors, reflect the energy I have put into the artwork. This energy is what brings the portrait to life, and I believe that all the energy I have put into the painting comes back out, impacting the viewer, resulting in a BIG smile! After all, a dog and a smile are a few of life’s simple pleasures.



 

 


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