Pet Portrait Commission

I was recently commissioned to make a collage of a black lab. Not only is it challenging to attain a likeness with torn pieces of magazine paper, but I had no idea working on such dark subject matter would be so complicated!! I started with my usual range of darkest and lightest areas, planning to fill in the gradients between. But then I realized that the dog is BLACK. There won't be any true white areas. Even highlights won't be white white. I had to redo large areas to darken them, using black and white patterns as highlights rather than mostly white pieces. Redoing those areas meant I had to redo the surrounding areas to get the gradient right. Keep in mind that I'm using salvaged magazines, so I have whatever is in my box. It's not like I can just mix up some new paint. I have to take what I've got and figure out how to make it work. I'm still figuring it out. To attain the likeness, my sketch was done against a grid of 1 in squares which was also overlaid on the photo I was given to work from. As I glue down pieces, my grid is obscured. So when I redo areas, I'm kinda eyeballing it. Anyway, I think last night was a turning point. Check out the in process photos. I'll post again when it's done.