Friday, November 14, 2008

A Step-By-Step Journey Through The Creation Of A Pet Portrait

I have just completed another commissioned oil paint pet portrait on canvas, and this one I can share with you! In anticipation of sharing what is now one of my favorite portraits, I took photographs of the work in progress from beginning to end so that I could share with you what I do from the moment a client contacts me to the delivery of the painting.

Step One: I am given a photograph, either digital or print, to work from. It is important to keep in mind that the better the photo, the better the portrait. (For tips on taking great pet photos, click here.) The client and I discuss how he or she wants the portrait to look, and I get started. Here's the original photo I had to work from for this portrait.

Step Two: Next I sketch out the portrait on gallery-wrapped canvas with staple-free edges. I usually begin painting the background and lay down a wash of colors for the subjects.
Step Three: I typically leave the faces of my subjects for last, so the next thing I did was paint in the darks and midtones on the bodies, and some of the darks on the faces.
Step Four: Next I worked on the face of the Great Dane on the right, and then continued to add the highlights to the face and the body. In this photo the subject on the right is complete, except for some minor tweaking I always do at the very end. What a good-lookin' dog! ;)
Step Five: Next I worked on the Great Dane on the left. Here he is with all the midtones and darks, and maybe a smidge of highlights on the face. He looks like a zombie dog without all the highlights.
Step Six: Finally, I finish with the highlights on the Great Dane on the left, on both his face and his body. At this point I usually stand back away from the canvas and look at the entire portrait, and then come back and tweak a highlight here and add a shadow there. Then, this is the finished product!
After that, the next step is hopefully meeting a happy client, and giving said ecstatic client his or her portrait. ;) I hope you enjoyed the step-by-step process!

17 comments:

::::Lula Boutique:::: said...

OMG!!! Are you serous??? This is amazing!!! What talent you have!! You did a phenomenal job. Wow! I'm just thoroughly impressed. :)

ModFarmgirl said...

THAT is SOOOO COOOL!!!!!!!!! I was just thinking to myself that my dog doesn't sit still too often, but then you have tips on taking great photoes of your pet. How cool is that! I LOVE your blog, so glad I stumbled upon it through the Etsy fourms!

~~Marie~~
www.modfarmgirl.blogspot.com

Walk in the Woods said...

That is absolutely wonderful ... as if the photo of those dogs weren't enough ... your work is wonderful and I love seeing the progression of your creative process!

Thanks so much for sharing. :)

Fancy said...

this is amazing!!! so talented. Maybe you can paint my doggies someday? If I can ever get them to sit still like that! :)

Piggy said...

You are amazing!!! That's beautiful :) Thanks for the article and sharing your wonderful works :)

Kathy said...

That is just amazing! You must be so proud of yourself. It's gorgeous! Now make that banana bread and then you can try the granola recipe too! Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a great weekend!

http://www.fourdogday.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

wow! I'm in total awe of your talent! Thanks for sharing the process with us!

Forever Foxed said...

Very interesting to see the process from start to finish. The final portrait is great but having such handsome subjects must help!

Christy said...

How AWESOME!!! You are hands down the BEST portrait artist I have ever seen. And I'm not just saying that. You can tell that your heart goes into your paintings, even in the photos. WOW. Just WOW. :)

Diane said...

That was fabulous! Thank you so much for going through the steps. What a piece of breath taking artwork....Wonderful!!!!

Jo said...

The painting is absolutely amazing! If I was the client I would be over the moon. I like that you gave us a look at the process involved too.

Erin, maker of chimes said...

Amazing! I have to look at your pet portraits several times and then I'm still not sure that it's really not a photograph. So talented!

Vanessa said...

Wow you are very talented! I love seeing an artist's process!!

ceejay said...

i love seeing the process behind the dog painting! great blog!

joannaphotography said...

This is amazing Allie. First- I didn't know the steps to make one. And second- and most of all- you paint it so beautifully!!! You're so talented :)

Kala Pohl Studio said...

This is incredible. What a wonderful step by step process. Being an artist, I truly enjoyed it:)

Sinje Ollen said...

Okay, so, I'm going to say it again.

This is amazing!