Mily is a beautiful American Bulldog with a sweet personality. She was such a pleasure to photograph and paint.
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.
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.
Beautiful Milly--framed and ready to go to her permanent home.