Pet Portraits from Photos

Pet Portrait Mock Up

Pet portraits are achieved using your favourite photos as reference.  To start I select the colour of Pastelmat Board background to work from.  It doesn’t make a difference to the finished artwork but selecting the right colour can help me with applying colour.  Darker bases are easier when you are painting a light coloured animal, and therefore a white base for the darker coloured animals.  I keep a good supply of pastelmat surface card in various colours.  Although my favourite has to be the light blue and buttercup or maize.  The latter two being very similar although the maize is slightly paler.

The first step for me is to use an A4 size piece of paper to visualise how much the head fills the space.  Starting with the eyes and where they are in relation to each dog.  Also with one dog being larger than the other this paper size gives me a starting point.  The size of each dog has to fit nicely into the aperture size of the painting. So it is a tricky process to get right.

This is something that works for me and is not very easy to explain. So once I have pinpointed where the eyes are going to be I can work outwards from there.  The initial stage is just a rough outline of each dog using a pastel pencil. The next stage I fill in the shaded areas with darker colours.  Also white highlighted fur I will colour in.

I will keep a client informed of progress and updated photos.  Sometimes a client may like to see the initial drawing only before it is completed.  So having a nice surprise at the end.  This painting of Buddy and Tess is being delivered locally tomorrow. Aperture size 20″ x 16″.