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FANU A PORTRAIT COMMISSION

Updated: Mar 31, 2023





FANU, A MASTIN ESPAGNOL, IS WISE AND A CALM COMPANION.




When you meet Fanu, you are not like "gosh what a cute and adorable animal!". In fact, Fanu is grand. Within him lies pure, pervasive wisdom that cannot be ignored.


Both bodily and immaterial, he has a strong and intelligent presence. With little display, he exerts great influence on his surroundings almost imperceptibly. I often experience this as soothing, comforting. And every now and then he helps make choices. That sounds abstract, but from the back, he can make the decisive difference with remarkably well-timed breathing or a change of pose, when hesitating.




fotoshoot op het strand
FOTOSHOOT ON VLIELAND, 2022


And when you have eye contact with Fanu, you have entire conversations. His dynamic eyebrows work as subtitles if necessary. If you don't 'get it' yet, it allows him to literally and figuratively go in all directions to make his point.



oil painting of a dog
PORTRET OF FANU, OILS ON CANVAS, 80 x 60 CM



I have already had the pleasure of meeting him regularly in groups. That's because his 'bosses' Olga and Raymond, friends of mine, work with groups from their professions and like to bring people together.



"Every now and then, I participate in their (inner) journeys. Fanu has been a pleasant 'active' participant for quite some time."




FANU UNSTOPPABLE AS HE SEES THE BEACH



Fanu goes berserk when he is on the beach. His neatly restrained enthusiasm starts when he jumps out of the car at Harlingen and onto the boat. He knows: "soon it will be sand and sea!" To give you an idea, I have attached a photo I took last year at Terschelling during the photo shoot on the beach.




Sketch of a dog on canvas in charcoal
FIRST SKETCH IN CHARCOAL



I usually push further in the first phase (see above) in charcoal to also evoke plasticity and depth. But this time, the positioning of key aspects of the face and proportions were enough to switch to oil paint. For the first round, the colour burnt umber was used (see below). This is not the final stage at this stage. It is unfortunately not captured in a photograph.




first pass in oil paint, highlighting the darker areas
FIRST PASS IN OILS, USING THE COLOR BURNED UMBER



I wanted to explore the sun reflecting on his fur from the bottom right and leading into the portrait at an early stage. Here you can already see the folds emerging, which are also partly useful elements for easily interpreting his pose and volume.




work in progress of a painting in oil, first pass in mid-values
BASE LAID WITH COLORS BURNT UMBER, BURNT SIENNA, YELLOW OCHRE, ULTRAMARINE BLUE, TITANIUM WHITE


COOL TONES ON THE MUZZLE , SIMPLIFIED BACKGROUND, TEXTURE IN THE FUR, REFLECTION IN THE NOSE



Most fun, as usual, was in rendering his eyes and muzzle. There lie the strongest contrasts and most saturated colours to draw the viewer's attention there.




HIS EYE WITH THE LIGHT OF THE SETTING SUN TO THE LEFT OF HIS HEAD



t is a delight to look for special details that offer a new layer of information for a closer look. His somewhat worn teeth, his moustache and beard hairs, for example.




close up of a dog, work in progress of an oil painting
CLOSEUP OF FANU



Fanu is surrounded by a fairly complex play of light. The warm hues of the sun coming from the right contrast sharply with the bluish light of the sky from above. Together with the reflection of the warm sunlight from the left via the yellow sand, I had to take into account 3 light sources.


For example, you have to think of 1 colour of fur that you have to bring together in shadow, warm and cold light, so that it still becomes a believable whole. Those nuances together and flowing into each other, Fanu should be recognisable, and preferably evoke the right feeling.




KOP VAN EEN HOND IN OLIEVERF SPAANSE MASTIFF
ENDRESULT, OILS ON CANVAS, 80X60CM



Since the beach is really 'his thing', I thought it appropriate to evoke a sense of remoteness in the scene and reinforce that in relation to the chosen reference photo. Therefore, beach and dune-like features were applied, such as the line of dunes in the background and un-saturated (greyer) colours for sky and horizon. In contrast, more saturated colours were applied towards the foreground.




INGELIJST IN EIKEN FINEER BAKLIJST EN GESIGNEERD



His head rises just above the dune, which causes him to stand out extra. The lines of the dune to his left and right are chosen so that they run towards him on either side to guide the eye.


Of course, again I had it expertly framed in natural oak veneer. Matching the interior of the house where the portrait now hangs.







 


Are you interested in a portrait or know someone who might be interested? Share my work or feel free to contact me directly by phone.


+31 (0) 6 21 85 91 32.


 

Read more about my approach and the quality I aim for by clicking on one of the other blogs below.















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