The inspiration for this piece needs no explanation – even my cat loving friends love a cute puppy butt!
I used various photos and paintings as reference points for this furry pack, but the common element was first and foremost the lighting. The goal was to capture the time of day, walking along the beach as the sun was either rising or setting. The golden coats of the pups simply glow in this lighting as they explore the beach during a receding tide, with mom in the lead looking for, well, who knows what.
My wife and I enjoy fostering dogs, especially mom’s and their puppies. That experience has taught me a few things about rescue pups. First, they know it and they show it – if you haven’t had this experience, you’re missing out. Second, nothing beats watching puppies explore the world as they try to play with everything and everyone they meet, including each other. Finally, puppy butts are just plain cute!
The paint colors were tricky to get just right because there is so much golden yellow throughout. The use of cool blacks (Ultramarine Blue and a little Burnt Sienna) for the paw pads and where the paws touch the beach help give definition and “pop”. Originally I wasn’t going to try to incorporate any reflections in the little pools of water along the beach, but having seen this work well in other paintings I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did because it really helps give depth and movement to the scene.
Just as they encouraged and inspired me in this composition, I’d highly recommend fostering or adopting a rescue dog at some point. In my experience you can find any breed, age, and personality in your local or regional shelter or rescue group.
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