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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mily: A Watercolor Pet Portrait

May was a crazy, busy kind of month. Studio time involved several portrait commissions, including a triptych pet portrait; five exhibitions to prepare for this spring and summer; and three portfolios to send out. Below is a recent completed pet portrait.

Mily is a beautiful American Bulldog with a sweet personality. She was such a pleasure to photograph and paint.






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Step 1: Small color value sketches. I do 6-12 sketches before deciding on a direction for the painting.

Step 2: Full-sized value sketch.
Here is where I get to know my subject
better and work out any value issues.
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Step 3 & 4: The painting as it progressed.
Starting with an excellent reference photo is crucial to the success of the painting. I rarely use existing photos, instead preferring to take my own. Taking over 100 photos for a portrait is not unusual. I find that even with that many photos, only about 3-4 are suitable for the portrait.
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Beautiful Milly--framed and ready to go to her permanent home.
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