Five years ago this month, my best friend passed away of old age. This also happens to be the month in which he was born. It seemed an appropriate time to create this tribute to his wonderful life, and all he did for me. One can ask for no better friend than a pet, and Wolfy really was an amazing best friend. As an American Eskimo dog, he LOVED the snow, even when he grew too old to appreciate much else. I will always remember him as a wild Rocky Mountain dog, exploring the pines and aspens. I imagine his spirit still there, wandering the snowy silence of the forest whenever the winter comes.

The talented Fox Amoore has composed a song that accompanies this painting! Please listen to the song while you look at the illustration, it really completes the feeling we were both attempting to get across as artists.

Fox’s beautiful song - http://www.furaffinity.net/view/8902712/

I am adding a bunch of WIP images to this piece to show how things can change during the course of creating a painting. My original thumbnail is a quick digital copy of an acrylic painting I started in college and never finished. Halfway through, I realized I wasn’t yet ready to convey what I wanted to, so I put the unfinished painting in my closet and continued developing my skills till I was ready. When I picked it up again, I did some other composition studies just to rule out anything and make sure I was making the right choice. Well, I discovered a MUCH better composition and had to let go of the idea I had been sitting on for years (though I will likely go back and complete the original painting just to have a sense of closure).

I liked how the new composition portrays a journey, an individual moving along the path of life and ending up with a vantage they could never have gotten when they were younger, looking onto the light. It’s a metaphor for arriving at the end of the journey. But as I neared the end of the painting, my boyfriend pointed out to me that the footprints just didn’t work well. They covered up the snowy path in a way that took away from the overall feeling of the painting. I got advice from a bunch of other artists, some who favored it with the path and some who favored it without. I tried to take what each of them had to say and create a new solution. I ended up with the track path you see in the final! More natural for a dog, less forced, but still shows off the snow without it distracting from Wolfy.

Anyway, I think I spent more time fussing over the tracks than was necessary. XD It could have been voided if I had explored more options at the thumbnail stage, but it is what it is! I’m just glad I was able to tear myself from the ideas I was originally “married” to in order to make changes for the better.

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    Beautiful illustration
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    Off to cry now.
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    A beautiful piece, by the talented Eski, honouring her furry friend, Wolfy. The music composed for this piece is just as...
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