I know the images are small, but hopefully you will be able to see the shifts I made.
- The sky was lovely in the first painting, but too dark. It distracted from the dog's face, and seemed almost foreboding, which contradicted the dog's mood. Lightening it up also allowed the slanted horizon, intentionally angled to build a little contra-action to the implied motion of the dog, to better play it's part.
- The dog's face was not drawn properly. The eye sat too low, and the nose was twisted and not grabbing the light properly.
- My poor girl had a scrawny neck that was impossibly thin, and her chest and shoulders were not properly illuminated.
It is so key that your subject be drawn properly to begin with, otherwise all the masterful handling of paint in the world cannot do it justice. Use a mirror to study the drawing in reverse or flip the piece on it's side/upside down to more handily see draftmanship mistakes.
It's also imperative that your focal point is first and foremost. All other details must pay homage to the focal point, else your viewer will not know where to rest their eyes.
No matter how well a portion of the piece is, it will not make a poorly drawn or mistake riddled painting any better. Best to swallow your pride, and sacrifice that well-executed bit for the well-being of the entire painting.
NOW this painting works - it is drawn properly, and everything else bows down to the focal point - the gesture of uplifted muzzle and the sensation of taking a deep drag of the air while enjoying the sun, the light tickle of whiskers and hair being combed by the wind - these all come front and center.
Thanks, as always, for looking at my art!