Saturday, December 1, 2018


Here's a memorial pet portrait I recently created. His name is Amigo, and I was told he loved the beach. It was commissioned by a friend of his owners, as a surprise, so I only had a few facebook photos to go off - not the best situation; I had four photos, he was lying down in all of them, and I could only see his body in one of them. However, he was a nice plain-coloured Labrador, so that made it easier, any old Labrador-body would do. It's when dogs have specific patterns that I don't know about that we run into problems! (PSA: 'Illustrator' is not synonymous with 'Clairvoyant' ^.~) 

See below the cut for a couple of progress shots:

I did my initial sketch digitally, so that it was easy to adjust to meet the clients needs. My first sketch had Amigo from a hight (that being what 2 of my references were) but the she wanted him from lower down, with more of a smile, so I amended it. Happily, Amigo had been involved in a family studio photoshoot, so I had a reference from lower-down as well!

I then drew Amigo onto watercolour paper, and inked him using Copic Multiliners. As he is such a pale dog, and the setting was the beach, I chose to ink in sepia, rather than black.

I used Winsor and Newton watercolours and Series 7 brushes to paint,

And I finished up with a bit of splatter effects (achieved using a straw to blow my paint around where I want it) and coloured pencil for a few darker shadows and Copic Opaque White for the highlights, especially in the water. I also strengthened in inking in a few places. 

All up, this took me 6 hours. 

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