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Original Acrylic on Canvas by Judy Lavoie

IMAGE SIZE: 12" x 16"

STATUS: Sold as a commission

"'General Jeb' is a 120-pound Lab, full of energy. He bounds quickly across the yard, and lumbers like a polar bear. Jeb is playful and sweet, but brace yourself when he runs to greet you! I was delighted when Jeb's mom commissioned this painting as a Christmas surprise for her husband.

As you might notice in my previous animal portraits, I love to emphasize the eyes. Jeb's eyes are very dark, melting into a big black ball. I studied my digital reference photos of him in Photoshop, and manipulated close-ups of his eyes, just so I could get a better look at where the pupil and iris really were. Since my day job has been as a commercial artist for 30 years I have many thousands of hours with Photoshop, so it's a natural and handy tool for me as a fine artist. Once I got to painting Jeb's one eye which is visible in this pose, I painted it as a medium brown eye, which I could see in the enhanced digital file. Then I kept glazing over with very transparent black mixed with payne's gray (a mostly blue-toned grey) until I got his eye close to reality. The final spots of white from reflected light made it come to life.

As with my previous portrait of a white-furred dog ("Tom"), I used a lot of color and glazing in painting Jeb's fur. I started by coating his body-shape with a solid base of a light golden color (raw sienna mixed with white gesso). This created a medium-tone ground, upon which I could add lighter and darker strokes, building up texture. Jeb's fur was much whiter and shorter than Tom's, and I exaggerated the highlights and shadows to give a three-dimensional appearance.

Dad was thrilled with his portrait of Jeb, and that's all I needed to satisfy me!"

Commissioned Artwork

Judy welcomes commissions to paint beloved pets, homes, landscapes, and other subjects dear to your heart. Contact the Artist for more information on commissioning a painting.

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