Painting the Background


Mixtures of several different proportions of Sap Green + Ultramarine Blue + a little Pthalo Blue + Ivory Black + White are made for the background. The values range from dark to light. Renee and I had originally talked about more of a sage green background. But as I studied Splash’s coloration I felt he would look  better against bluer tones.

Oh, I am so frustrated. SILLY ME…..I forgot to focus the camera before I began recording my video of painting the background. But fortunately you can still see it well enough to follow the process. Since Spash is so dark I paint the area behind him lighter. The background darkens toward the right side of the canvas to accentuate Matt’s skin tones.


I block in Matt’s turtleneck while the background is still wet. This allows me to keep the edges soft. I want everything on the lower portion of the canvas to kind of fade into the background. This way the viewer’s gaze will automatically be pulled to the sharper, more detailed areas of Splash’s and Matt’s faces.


I do the same with Splash’s lower body and keep detail to a minimum. While the paint of the background is completely pliable I go ahead to establish his entire outline, feathering the edges of the hair on his front legs, ears and head.


Keeping all of the edges soft avoids the appearance that our subjects have been “Cut Out” and placed against the background. Enjoyed having you visit our studio today, hope you’ll come back soon. HUGS,




3 Responses to “Painting the Background”

  1. Paintbrush1984 Says:

    I can feel the softness of Splash’e paws!

  2. pierceclark Says:

    Hi Mikki,

    Could you do a video of blending two wet areas. In this one, the blend is so good, I can hardly tell!!


    Donna Pierce-Clark

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