Doesn’t he look like the sweetest dog ever?
I would expect that her dog would be awesome because Brittany is truly one of the kindest and generous people I know. I’m so lucky that I get to call her my friend. So to be able to paint her dog was a real treat, especially since Brittany is an accomplished artist herself. #nopressure Also, this is the first english shepherd portrait I’ve done, or shepherd of any kind!
I asked Brittany to email me some of her favorite pics of Buddy, which she did.
Her only request was if I could capture Buddy with his ears up and mouth open, as this is when he’s happy. The only thing missing from this pic above is a wagging tail, right? I don’t know how she even shot this because I imagine Buddy jumping up and down, excited to go for a walk.
Or maybe he’s one of those dogs who actually sits on command. I don’t have one of those.
I was so excited to draw Buddy, I totally forgot to take step-by-step photos. Plus, I wasn’t really ready to write a colored pencil tutorial. Now, with a few under my belt, I might share some pencil tips on my next pet portrait. I think you’ll love drawing with pencils, especially on animals.
I have a few in-progress photos that I shared on Instagram. Are you following me there? If you like seeing step-by-step pics, I almost always share there.
I follow a lot of artists on Instagram and I notice that they draw portions of an animal and work their way down. I used to color block the whole thing and then add detailing later.
The one thing I do now is get the eyes in early. They always bring life to the piece and it’s like I can “feel” the pet, which is special to me.
I may or may not actually talk to the animal while I’m drawing him or her. (I’ll never tell.)
I started working my way down with Buddy’s portrait. It felt a little odd at first but now I wouldn’t do it any other way.
Mainly because I rest my hand on the canvas as I’m sketching and, since these are oil-based pencils, I manage to smear everything under my hand.
Yeah. It’s lovely. #not
Once I erased all of the smears I took a fine tip liner brush and acrylic paint and started adding the wispies.
No matter how much I sharpen my pencil – and I sharpen them a lot – I can’t seem to get the tiny fine lines like I do with a paint brush.
Of course, the fact that I did this on canvas rather than paper makes a big difference. You can see the weave of the canvas close up but not from far away.
This is an 8 x 10 inch canvas so it’s pretty small, but large enough to still get in most of the details too.
What a joy it is to paint someone’s ‘best friend’. For a long time I’ve been wanting to do something special for Brittany. Not just because she’s a dear friend but because she was amazing after my husband died. She’s a special, special person who is always giving to others.
I hope you’ll take a minute and go visit her blog, Pretty Handy Girl. It is full of awesome DIY projects of all kinds. Seriously, if I ever have a question, PHG is the first place I look!
So Buddy is the second blogger pet I’ve done, and there are more to come! If this keeps up, I might have to do a Bloggers’ Dogs (and kitties) series of some kind. Wouldn’t that be fun? We could play a mix ‘n match game – match the pet to the blogger – or something.
You just keep thinking, Butch. That’s what you’re good at. Name that movie.
I’m off to start the next pet portrait. Any guesses which breed this one will be? I’ll give you a hint – it’s a dog. I little one.
Have a great rest of the week!