First I choose a photo from my client's phone. Since this is a surprise and she's out of state, I never got to take my own pictures (much preferred). Luckily, she had this very expressive picture with nice lighting too!
So then we decide how large she wants it and I enlarge the photo to the size needed. Then I sketch the main shapes in charcoal....taking care to get everything in just the right place. This is constantly revised throughout the painting of the piece as I go.
Then I start with the darks. I choose several colors...dark cool blues, browns, purples, blue-greens and a taupey - green shadow. I add some lights too to see how the contrast will look. I want to bring the viewer to her face (Petey's a she) so I make sure that's where the most contrast is.
I decide to try-out some background colors as Petey was sitting on a rug with lots of subtle colors that played nicely with her coloring. I didn't want it to distract from her, but add some more life to the portrait.
Continuing along, I add more detail to her face and start considering her lower half...paws, fur and more background.
More refining...and more fun with the abstract background...blending and mixing colors. Pastels are so wonderfully expressive and malleable!
Voila! Portrait of Petey is finished! What a fun project! :)
To see more of my dog as well as cat, animal and human portraits...please go to my website:
Portraits make wonderful one-of-a-kind gifts for that special someone. Order yours now, while there's time for me to paint them! Find out the process on my website and send me an e-mail to get yours in my schedule.
Have a great day,