How to Paint a Dog Portrait

Suppose you are given an assignment to paint a portrait of your dog and you have to do this from scratch without any input or prior experience in art or painting. This guide will help you get started in making an amazing dog portrait that will be cherished by many for several years to come.

Before you begin, it is important to put together the supplies that will make it possible for you to successfully produce the dog portrait. These will include a variety of oil paints, pallet knife, canvas, different brushes and a sketching pencil.

When making a dog portrait, the first step is to take several photographs of your dog in different positions. Make sure the photographs are in colour. Lighting is the most important element of a great dog portrait. While taking the photographs outdoors, make sure the sun is in front of the dog to avoid dark shadows across important areas of your photographs. Dog Portraits

When shooting the photographs indoors, make an effort to maintain a steady range of light throughout the room to prevent shadows. Experiment with various lighting conditions within the room you will use and adjust as necessary to prevent bright flares and effects that may be undesirable in the resulting portrait. Upon completion of the pre-shoot, determine how and where your dog will pose. A casual portrait is well worth taking into considering, as it tends to capture the essence of a dog’s personality. Purchase a portrait frame that will complement your completed dog portrait.

Once you have the perfect portrait photographs in hand, you then create a mock-up that will help you to visualize the final painting. Determine the background that will be most suitable for your portrait. The next step is to make a sketch of the photographs and making sure that it is as accurate as possible. Mix and match the various photographs that you took during your photo shoot.

Create the first layer by covering the canvas in paint, while painting in the direction of the fur. At this stage you should not worry much about the accuracy of colour. When the first coat has dried out completely, apply a thin layer of liquin over the region you will be painting the fur.

Now dip the tip of your large brush into the oil paint and begin painting the first under-layer of textures and fur. When the first under-layer has completely dried out, apply a thin layer of liquin over the painting. The next step is to try and get the painting to match with the reference photograph and modelling the fur of your dog. After the paint has dried, cover the whole canvas with a thin layer of liquin.

Now go over the fur using light colours to shape the fur further. Use a mixture of the colours you have to produce the desired colour for your dog. Thereafter, with the paint dried, again apply a thin layer of liquin over the area.

Begin to glaze the darker colours over the top of the fur to knock back the very light colours and add depth and shadows. Spend more time painting within fine detail and fur. Always remember to paint your fur from light to dark. Apply a light line of colour to blend in the root and tip.

Work on the expression of the pet to make sure it resembles that in the photograph. This is the most important of portrait painting, as people are likely to look at the expression more than any other part of your dog portrait.

It is time to make the finishing touches on your dog portrait. Work on the eyes, around the ears, and the edges of your portrait to produce a great and eye catching finish. Let the portrait dry out completely. When all is done, clean up and frame your  in an appropriate portrait frame.


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