Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments. I used a mirror for doing this. I did it over Christmas
eak, and spent perhaps 3-4 sittings doing it. It was challenging but fun. I looked at your work and was quite impressed by your animal and other paintings. I guess it is possible to create work from photos that doesn't appear flat, but can look 3_D in appearance. There does seem to be something about having the model (person) sitting with you that allows the painter the ability to capture things and the essence of the person, better, than if they had just used a photo. I guess I am just referring to doing portraits here. However, does seem to be difference when one goes out and paints "on the spot," as apposed to using a photo for a landscape as well. But again, your work reflects a great detail of light, care, tone, and color in it without using photographs. Obviously, you would be hard-pressed to get a dog or a horse to sit for you long enough to paint them with any great detail. The draw back here with models is getting them to sit for you, and also, perhaps even needing to pay them for their services, unless there's some type of bartering that could go on.
Hope this helps clarify,