I have an incredibly special and personal story to share with you today. It’s all about the creation of a dear portrait of my beloved dog, Otto. Six years ago, Otto passed away from heart disease, and this portrait became a way for me to find closure in my grief process.
Rather than remembering him with sadness, I wanted to remember him with love and joy.
The portrait was inspired by a photo I had of Otto peacefully sleeping on my bed. I decided to reinterpret the image by placing him amidst beautiful pink peonies. This combination of his peaceful sleep and the vibrant flowers perfectly captured the essence of his spirit.
Title: Beloved Otto
Year of making: 2022
Size: 56 cm x 33 cm
Acrylic on paper
The idea behind the painting was to commemorate the incredible bond that Otto and I shared. He was the first dog my husband and I adopted, and he brought us years of unconditional love. This painting not only represents my love for animals, particularly dogs, but also showcases my affinity for botanical themes. Additionally, it incorporates my favorite colors, adding a personal touch to the artwork.
Now, let’s talk about the process of bringing Otto to life on the canvas:
Step 1: Gathering References I began by collecting various references of Otto, ensuring I had the perfect image to work from. I also gathered references of peonies to capture their delicate beauty. With these references in hand, I moved on to the next step.
Step 2: Sketching and Transferring Using the references, I carefully sketched out the composition, placing Otto amidst the blooming peonies. Once satisfied with the sketch, I transferred it onto the paper. (Check out this blog post for a detailed explanation of my sketch transfer technique.)
Step 3: Choosing the Color Palette Before diving into the painting process, I took the time to select the ideal color palette that would bring Otto and the peonies to life. It’s important to me to create harmony and evoke emotions through color choices.
Step 4: Painting Otto and the Flowers With everything prepared, I began the joyous process of painting my beloved Otto. This wasn’t the first time I had painted him, as I had previously practiced capturing his essence on canvas. It brought me immense joy to see his image come to life once again, alongside the vibrant and delicate flowers.
I hope you enjoyed hearing the story behind “Beloved Otto” and how it came to be. This painting holds a special place in my heart and represents not only my love for animals and nature but also the profound bond I shared with my furry companion.
If you resonate with this story or have any comments or questions, I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for joining me on this journey, and remember, Happy painting!
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