I was commissioned to paint a portrait of a gorgeous Miniature Yorkshire Terrior named Pebbles as a special Christmas present. I painted her from photos in oils on canvas and thought I’d share the process with you!
I like to start with more than one photo so I have options when it comes to deciding on the best possible composition.
The next step is to make sure your initial sketch is as accurate as possible. This will prevent problems later. I mixed and matched a few photographs and had Pebbles looking straight facing forward.
For the first layer I just want to cover the whole canvas in paint, I don’t worry too much about the colours being accurate but I do try and paint in the direction of the fur, even at the early stages.
With the first coat dry, I then cover the whole canvas in a thin layer of Liquin over the areas where I will be painting fur. I dip the tip of a large brush into oil paint (no Liquin) and start to paint the first under-layer of fur and textures.
For the next few stages I worked on getting the likeness of the dog with the photos and modeling the fur.
When it was dry I again covered the canvas in a thin coat of liquin. I went over all the fur with light colours to shape it further. I used a mixture of yellow ochre. white and a touch of blue for the champagne colour.
The colours are too light at this stage but I will knock it back with darker glazes next.
I again apply a thin layer of liquin over the fur area, whilst this is still wet I begin glazing darker colours over the top of the fur. This knocks back the very light colours and adds depth and shadow.
I spend some time painting in fine details and fur. Remember fur is painted light to dark, I apply a light line of colour and blend in the root and tip.
Finishing touches included fine hairs around the ears and edges and minor tweaks.
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