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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Watercolor Pet Portrait of Ludwig











Left: A full-sized value sketch preceeds the painting. This is where I study the features and work out the values (light and dark areas) then transfer an outline of the sketch to the watercolor paper.

Right: The finished portrait

This little guy is Ludwig, a beautiful German Wirehaired Pointer, whose distinctive feature is his wonderful, wiry coat. Ludwig's fur is made up of a multitude of colors, depending on the lighting, but my favorite part to paint was his unruly whiskers. Luddy, as his owner calls him, has a very sweet temperament and was a joy to work with.

The reference photograph I worked from was taken in a natural morning light that had cool highlights and warm shadows. Perfect for the color palette I ended up using.

My client had planned to present this portrait to her husband for a surprise birthday present. However, he was a little too sharp for us and our fabricated story of why I was at the house that day to photograph didn't fool him one bit. No matter, Ludwig's portrait turned out beautifully and made a great gift.
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