Dog Portrait Process

I'm excited to show the process of my dog portrait paintings.  My intention is to not only capture the image of your dog, but also capture their spirit.  I look for pictures that aren't the expected.  I love choosing images that convey...a special movement....a look...their spirit.  Thanks for stopping by.

Image 1:

I do a light pencil sketch from a photo of the dog on watercolor paper.  Then I start blocking in shapes and laying down the lightest color first. 

During this beginning stage, I give special attention to the eyes since they are the soul of the dog and if they aren't correct at this stage, I will never be able to fix them later on. 

Image 2:

Next, I start laying down thin washes of color watching that there are no hard edges where they're not suppose to be.  I use 2 brushes at this point...a brush to put on the color and a wet brush to blend and wipe away.

Image 3:

Up to this point, there is no actual fur painted.  Even though beautiful Ella is a short hair Vizsla, the hair still needs to be stippled on top of the shading.   I still go back and forth as I work all the areas together as a whole. 

Here's the finished portrait of Ella, 12" x 16", on 140lb. Arches watercolor paper.

Here's the original photo...

To add a final explanation point to my painting, I made a little stamp with a paw print to work my signature around.