When I painted this dog's portrait, I fudged a little.  The lighting was SO dramatic in the reference photo his "aunt" sent me that both his eyes were lost in the shadows.

But that's the beauty of artistic license.  I brightened the shadow just enough to make those soulful eyes the focal point, but still enough contrast to tell the story.

I love the challenge of taking an okay photo and turning it into a portrait painting that makes you smile every time you see it!  ~ Robin