I really don't like having to tell clients that the photos they'd like me to work from aren't suitable. One of the upcoming commissions is of a beautiful young retriever type dog. It will be a surprise for the dog's owner and therefore photos are being secretly supplied by the owner's partner.
One of the refs is a lovely photo of the dog as a puppy - fast asleep. Extremely cute but with no features on show so really it could be any dog (of its type).
The alternative photo shows the dog slightly older and with a very happy smiley face - loads of character, but its taken full on so the face is foreshortened and the nose looks disproportionately large. A lovely fun photo but I don't feel it would translate well to a portrait ... so have emailed my client asking if its possible to get other ref photos.
I worry about upsetting clients this way but am determined to toughen up and not take on work from photos I don't feel comfortable with.
For that reason I no longer offer gift vouchers .... Twice recently I had voucher redemptions and had to work from photos I would have turned down if they hadn't been prepaid commissions ..
Anyway, whilst I await further ref photos (hopefully) for the retriever and confirmation from another client as to which photo of her dog she'd like me to work from, I've continued further with this double portrait.
Lots of twiddly bits to sort out (especially the ears) further along the line, but I'm probably going to start work on the second dog and then do all the tweaking at one time.
I won't get much artwork done for the next couple of days but it won't hurt to leave this to one side for a while.
I laid a double mount over the picture to show where the dogs will 'fit' in the frame. The mount has a plum inner and a light ivory outer so I think it complements the coat colour nicely. The support is Fisher 400 (sanded) and I think it works well left as a plain uncoloured background ?
I won't do all the fine hairs on the dog's head till I know that the client is happy to leave the background uncoloured - just in case.