I'm making this for my mom, she wants to print it out really big on canvas paper and frame it. This is just a speed paint that I did to show her what I have in mind. I have a lot of time to work on this, and I really want to push it to my absolute limit. It's her two dogs, the brown one passed a couple of years ago. The black one is old and probably won't be around in a few years, so there's a lot of sentimental value to it. I want this to be something she will be proud to hang in the living room... well of course she will, she's my mom... but I want it to be something I will be proud of.
I was hoping you guys could help me out with this, I need pointers on everything... composition, color balance, lighting, gesture, mood, details, fur texture, etc.
I'm going for something classic, but I don't want it to look like a Sears photo (it kinda does).
Up the shadows and overall contrast, it looks a bit muddy to me.
Amateur Artist. Professional Asshole.
Lookit the Pretty!
Rule #1 of depicting soldiers: KEEP THE DAMN FINGER OFF THE DAMN TRIGGER.
Contrast is the biggie that I'm seeing, too. The values of the dogs and the background are too similar. Put it into black and white temporarily and you'll see what we are talking about.
Also, you want to detract as little as possible from the subject matter (which is the main focus on a portrait piece), so try limiting the patterns you have in the background.
Falchion, Syrella, thank you, I'll keep those points in mind.
Revidescent, these are pretty much what I'm working with. I can take more photos of the black dog or draw from life if I have to, but these are the only photos I have of the brown dog.