Saturday, September 24, 2016


Recently I've been doing quite a few pet portraits - which is fine by me, pet portraits are always fun!

Here is one of them - Benji the Boston Terrier. Isn't he gorgeous?

I do my pet portraits in mixed media, I just find that easier when I'm dealing with lots of fur, I can add extra texture easily, and, more importantly, quickly. This keeps the time I spend, and therefore the prices, down, for my clients. 

I took a lot of photos, sharing my progress on Instagram so that my client (who uses Instagram) could see my progress regularly. Some of my process shots were shared in my Instagram Story - so if you follow me on Instagram, check out my Story posts to see extra sneak peeks and progress shots that don't make it into my gallery!

Starting the inking. I'm using Copic Multiliners in 0.1 and 0.05:

This is my least-favourite part of any pet portrait. Animals look really weird without their eyes and noses shaded, and I'm always terrified that it's going to look awful and I'll have to start all over again:

That's better! Eyes and nose to start!

First pass with the watercolour. I'm using Ecoline in black for the main areas, because it's nice and black, and then using Winsor & Newton watercolours on top:

Almost finished. After I was done with the watercolour I went in with coloured pencils for a bit more texture and contrast:

And the final product! I had a slight accident right at the end - I opened my jar of Ecoline to do a touch-up, and there was a huge bubble in the top.... which popped and spattered all over my desk. I was frozen in horror for a while, as there were now black spots on my 99.9% completed pet portrait. Black spots in Ecoline, which has never even heard of 'erasing'. (I'm sure everyone who works traditionally has moments like this. If you're working digitally, I think the best parallel is accidentally pressing 'Do Not Save'. Aaaaarrrrg!!). PSA: If you're using Ecoline and it gets a bubble, rescue your work before it pops!

When I'd stopped hyperventilating, I came up with a solution. Necessity is the mother of invention, and all that. I was already planning on spattering some coloured watercolour, as in this portrait card, so I used my Copic Multiliners to add extra black spatters (somehow I don't trust myself to just fling black ecoline at a painting, even if I can do so with watercolour). The accidental spatters had somehow miraculously missed landing actually on Benji. I think the effect is none too bad, even if it isn't exactly what I originally planned. What do you think?

Can't get enough of Benji? He has his own Instagram!

Copic Multiliners, Ecoline Ink, Prismacolour pencils and Winsor & Newton watercolours on Moleskine watercolour paper. Just under A4 in size. This portrait took 4.5 hours. 

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