“Millie on Safari” is a study in values. Values is the range of light to dark, from white to black, as well as all the tones in-between.
Values can determine among other things, shape, dimension, flow of light and expression.
A portrait of a black dog always presents somewhat of a challenge. Just to look at a black dog, one usually sees nothing but a
silhouette. In order to get an expression, as a painter, I will need to juggle the values. And, it’s always fun to see how far you can go
with it without losing the sense of being black.
Luckily, Millie had some brown tones in her coat which gave me the opportunity to lighten some areas. But in order to catch her
sweet personality, I created a light source from the right side of the painting to brighten her coat and light up her inquisitive eyes.