Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cloud's portrait is finished!


Here it is, the finished portrait of my Rat Terrier, Cloud. 18 x 18 inches, acrylic on Canvas.

Sometimes it's hard for me to find the words to explain what this little dog means to me. All dogs are precious to me, but this one... I've never seen a dog convey the emotions he does, and I've never had a dog SO aware of me. His love and devotion can make me cry. In fact, there were times while I was working on this painting that I had to stop because I would be overcome by the exchange of love that was going on - from me to him through his image on the canvas, and from him looking back at me as he came to life in paint. It may sound crazy, but I know I have readers who understand what I'm saying.

Back to the painting... we all know the eyes will make or break any portrait regardless of species, and they are my favorite thing to paint. The eyes are of course the main focus of this piece - his sweet, trusting, loving eyes mirroring my adoration.

But I'd like to talk a moment about ears. I LOVE painting dog ears! Not only are they fun to paint, (a miniature landscape unto themselves,) but they are a major part of a dogs body language and, certainly in Cloud's case, not only contribute mightily to his expressiveness, they are a huge part of who he is! There's no ignoring those babies... I mean, one of his nicknames is "Ears." (Heehee) So I really try to put a lot of thought and care when I paint doggie ears.

I also wanted the background to express a lot of emotion - somewhat ethereal to express the purity and eternalness of love, yet grounded with my beloved Earth tones to express how solid and real these things are.

I've had people ask if I could ever sell any of my Cloud paintings. No more then I could sell Cloud! When I'm working on a painting, everything I'm feeling about what I'm painting goes into each brushstroke. So selling a painting with that much personal meaning would be too hard for me. Dog portraits are something to treasure for a lifetime!

To give you an idea of the scale, here is a shot of me and Cloud with the painting:

Oh, those ears! I really love the statement big dog paintings make. I had so much fun with this, and look forward to continuing to work large. On my easel there is an 18 x 24 inch blank canvas, calling softly to me...

30 comments:

the7msn said...

Oh, my, this is my absolute favorite painting you've done. And the picture of you and Cloud with the painting? If that doesn't just exude the love, I don't know what does.

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Absolutely amazing, you did a fabulous job. I love the eyes, ears and nose :0)

Kathleen Coy said...

Aw, thank you so much Linda and Jen!

Hugs!!!

marnie vollenhals said...

Kathleen..I love it and cloud looks so cute. I have to tell you about all the compliments i get with the paintings that you did for me. I get the same way when I look at Hawk..they are so sweet.

Tena said...

Love it sooooo much! Wonderful! :)

Dolores said...

What a beautiful post. Cloud is one lucky dog to have you and you are one lucky person to have Cloud.

pencilportraits said...

beautiful Kathleen, what a wonderful model and painting, I know what you mean about dogs though, you know how I am obsessed with Willow, they kind of take over everything, I've been telling her all week we are off to a tractor sale on Saturday and she's so excited (I think). My little thing are the eyes, I've not had a thing for ears but then again my dog's ears aren't quite as beautiful as Cloud's.

marcia furman said...

Fabulous! You did an amazing job! I'd like to paint my pup someday...but it would be a big challenge for me! He has an all black face and very dark eyes!

Sarah said...

Oh that is wonderful - love the picture and the words. Yes I do know what you mean about the love of your dog!!!! Meee too!!
I adore the picture of you two together...wonderful!!!
Sarah

Caroline said...

Kathleen, thank you for taking us though your steps to creating this beautiful portrait of Cloud. I have loved each and every one of the posts and particularly this last which through your words makes me wish I could meet you both in person! I am so glad you've shown the size of the painting - I would never have known and it is really no surprise that you aren't able to part with it either! Can't wait to see what your next project is!

My Discworld said...

So if I saw that painting on a wall somewhere, I'd probably not be able to stop myself from petting it.

Bizarrely enough, I think my fave part is ... his collar. The folds of a dog's neck are so soft and they look it here!

Edward Burton said...

This is an absolutely wonderful portrait of Cloud - it's so full of love. Outstanding job.

lucky kachina dancer said...

Wow! Amazing! It's beautiful, and it was really special to watch it come together piece by piece.

Martine said...

What an amazing painting!! The painting and Cloud are perfect!! You are so talented!!

Thank you for sharing!

xo martine

Bijou said...

Hi Kat,

Mom wanted to come over and read your "mushy post". BOL

We love the portrait. It's way better than a picture!

Wags & wiggles,
Bijou

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

My mom is smiling THAT smile!

I think the thought KHLOUD above her head says something about knowing exakhtly what woo pawed!

I guess woo understand!?!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

Colette Theriault said...

Oh, absolutely wonderful Kathleen! Of course, having a beautiful model helps. I love how you've captured his expression and create a mood for this painting.

Julia Guthrie said...

Wow..I'm so glad you posted a pic of the scale too, it's amazing, & huge! lol
I really love how you can capture a dogs character through their eyes & features. And I know just what you mean about the ears being so expressive!! LOL
We know exactly what mood Nimh is in, or what she is thinking by looking at her ears (& her tail actually!).

You did an amazing job on this portrait as usual Kat! :) *hugs* xx

Ruby's Mum said...

You really have captured his expression - and emotions. I can truly understand your depth of feeling about this.

Thor said...

Hi Kathleeen!
The portrait is wonderful!
You´re so talented!
Love the picture of you and Cloud with the painting!

Thor

Kathleen Coy said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments. It means so much to be able to share what this painting means to me with all of you!

Much love,
Kathleen

Bella and Tucker said...

That painting turned out absolutely beautiful! In the reflection in Cloud's eyes (in the painting) I see clouds. ;-) You have done a wonderful job!!

~Nikki

Life With Dogs said...

The fact that you were able to get this right on a large scale speaks to your talents. Love it!

Linda said...

Love the art and the pic of both of you together, just lovely. Lindax

Jessica (Hey Lola) said...

Super beautiful - I LOVE your paintings! Also, I feel very maternal towards my dogs...I always think it's a bit weird how much I love them ...it's nice to know I'm not the only one that has such a strong bond with her dogs :)

WATERBABY CHRISTINE said...

It's amazing how you are able to capture not only Cloud's physical likeness, but also his personality. This is so obviously a "labor of love".

gtyyup said...

Selling the portrait would be like selling the dog!!! It's become a part of you. Ha...again, it's HUGE...bigger than Cloud!! So cool!

I also meant to say that the video is just fascinating to watch.

sam said...

Just beautiful Kathleen, I can see how important the ears are (like noses for me) Wonderful pose, I think you should do some prints:o)

Dean Grey said...

Kathleen!

This turned out so wonderfully!

Such a beautiful expression and likeness you captured!

There is so much detail in Cloud's fur especially in the blacks! I love the soft sky-blue collar on his neck too.

Do I even have to mention those drooping ears?

Excellent job, Kathleen! Be proud of this one!

-Dean

Anonymous said...

its amazing how dogs just with a look can convey more love and emotion than all our poetry,diatribes,songs,novels and films.Do more to heal than all our psychoanalysts et al et al.