I've been trying to paint a portrait of Tristin, the beautiful Golden Retriever belonging to my friend Tammy but it's been going very slowly! However, I just finished touching up some things and have sent it to Tammy and her DH for approval. I've had to make a lot of corrections to the painting but it's all my fault as they sent a lot of reference photos and I had a few of my own also. I chose a photo of Tris when he was much younger (& the way I remembered him best) but they wanted a painting of him right before he passed away. It was very hard to paint him that old and with so much white on his face.
I remember him as being very vibrant and such a happy, healthy fella. Even when puppies would bite and play with him, Tris was always very gentle back with them. And he always knew when a human or another dog wasn't feeling well and toned down his Golden enthusiasm and playfulness. He was the most empathetic dog I ever met and you know I wanted to paint him to show all of those qualities and more.
I think that's why I always have such a hard time painting animals I know - I see so many facets to their personalities and it's almost impossible to simplify my memories and condense the painting into a feeble 2-D rendition of the living marvel they were.
I can only hope when Tammy views the painting, her memory fills in all of the facets comprising that gem of a dog named Tristin.