Gemma is a Cavalier King Spaniel. I was so excited about doing this portrait, little Gemma is the most loveable, happy, joyful little creature you can imagine. One second she is staring at you with large hypnotic eyes and the next second she is racing around the house with her ears flying behind her. The problem was which expression would best represent her personality. I started tossing around the idea of one main image and two other smaller images showing different expressions. This was going to make the painting harder - essentially three portraits in one. But I had worked with her owners before, they both have a really good eye for art, one is an artist herself, so I knew I could rely on their opinions.
At first the painting was going very well, then two serious problem areas came up. The composition just wouldn't work. It was great when I sketched it, but with colour I was in trouble. The only solution was to add two more images. The last two on the outside took shape and it worked. Whew! The added images had to be just the right size and shape, no other shape or size or expression would have worked.
I've included a photo of Gemma with her painting, but the photo doesn't do her justice.