Double Dog Pet Portrait in coloured pencil

Bailey & Taylor Pet Portrait

For this Pet Portrait, I was given two great reference photos. The poses of the dogs for the pet portrait were lovely and worked so well together. However one of the reference photos was a little dark which got rid of all its details. The client decided on a 11×14 inch so we could get some really nice detailing in the pet portrait. Which we would not have been able to do had it have been an 8×10 inch.

Once in Photoshop I was able to bring the photo out as much as could. I also rely on my knowledge of canines, and their skull, muscular and fur composition to fill in the rest that I cannot see. The client and I fell in love with this right away. The contrast of the two pup’s one alert ready to go for a walk at any moment, whereas the other also laying down, was sleepy and barely opened her eye to see what the viewer wants. I knew right away this would be a lovely pet portrait.

I could not wait to start, and I started where I always love to start with the eyes. The eyes are so important. I have to pour in all the life of the animal into the eyes to make a convincing portrait. As the main focal point, they have to look realistic, living, and have the intended expression. With drawing a pet portrait or wildlife if the artist is a millimeter off it looks instantly wrong. So I work hard to make the eyes as perfect as possible. Once the eyes are done, I gradually move around the pet portrait, making sure to rest my hand on a clean section of the pet portrait.

Pet portrait of a geman shepherd
Pet portrait of a geman shepherd
Pet portrait of a dog

Pet Portrait Challenges

The two dogs were very different, with the left hand pup she has a reddish coat, and the challenge was getting the right colour. If the colour is wrong, than it may as well be another pup. With my limited number of pencils I have to create the colour that nature had picked out for this sweetheart. Layering the colours testing what colours worked together, and which ones offset each other. It’s a process to say the least. The second girl on the other hand, was a whole other story. She was black, the challenge here, is making her look black not grey and still keeping the details. Detailing black dogs can be tricky. I am very pleased with how she turned out.

Another challenge was two reference photos, one highly clear and detailed the other had lost a lot of details. However I cannot draw the pet portrait that way, the detail has to remain the same throughout the pet portrait. Using my knowledge of all the dog pet portraits I have done previously, and all my many years spent around dogs, I estimate what detail was there. That way I can make the second pup just as detailed as her best friend. Which creates a uniform and pleasing portrait.

I loved drawing this pet portrait, it is beautiful, and shows the personalities of the dogs. The poses, the expressions, the details, it all came together beautifully. And I know this pet portrait will look stunning on the wall.

If you paint to see more of my pet portraits, please visit my gallery!

Wildlife portrait of a bobcat

So what have I also been working on? My fox in finished and looks stunning!! Absolutely love her! I have also been working on a bobcat wildlife painting. Trying a bunch of techniques a larger size, and I am super pleased with how hes coming. I am starting a little kitten pet portrait for the Mississauga humane society who desperately needs a loving home. Along with my bald eagle wildlife drawing, and also my cardinal ofcourse.

Its going to be a very busy week!

Check out my originals for sale here!

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