In the background of this portrait is something you didn’t see in my layout, but is very important to have in the portrait...
After Remmy was rescued at age 8 he came to Walt and Frann with a rubber Pig.
He loved that Pig. When he felt stressed, he would get his Pig and carry it around with him.
If Ruby (their other Doberman) showed interest in his Pig, Remmy took the Pig outside and hid it.
That Pig was so important to him.
Frann relates this story:
“One time coming back from Florida, we stopped overnight and we left the Pig in the hotel room by accident. We had to move heaven and earth to get the stupid Pig back! The hotel couldn’t send it by FedEx to Canada for some reason, so the hotel FedEx’d it to a good friend of mine in Virginia, who had her assistant send it up to us. It cost us a hundred bucks to get that Pig back. I looked around for another one but couldn’t find one. That Pig was so…it was like your kid lost their baby blanket or something and life’s not worth living. When the Pig arrived, Remmy was so happy.”
From the time we began discussing the portrait, Walt wanted Remmy’s Pig included. Remmy’s Pig will be hidden in the bushes on a bank of the river scene. Just as he did in life.
Working in the studio. On the monitor, Pig is in my Photoshop layout that I created…that is an actual photo Walt took of Remmy’s pig hidden in some bushes. On the right are some reference photos Walt took for me. In the layout photo Pig looked too blue, so I was glad to have those other pics to show his true turquoise color.
My pencils in action. On the left are greens I’m using for leaves in the background. I’ll be creating the fade-out of leaves fading into Remmy’s body on his head study. To the right, separated by a small worn-down chunk of eraser, are the turquoise blues I’m using for Pig. And two colors of yellow pencil for Pig’s spots.
Once Remmy’s Pig was in place, I was started filling in the foliage around him. When you last saw the portrait in progress, Remmy’s “upper left head” was finished down to his collar. I needed to put in some of the greenery of the riverbank before I started building his faded-out shoulders into the scene. The greenery and some ripples on the water have to be done at the same time as Remmy’s shoulders since they are interconnected.
Next I’ll start building Remmy’s Pig’s hiding place on the bank, gradually enclosing Pig with twigs and leaves.