Skip to content

A Dog Portrait Deconstructed

April 16, 2013


I just finished the commissioned dog portrait I have been working on since February. I did a post about it then when I had just begun the painting and I thought it might be fun to post the stages leading up to the final. She has such a beautiful intensity about her and I must admit I am going to miss having her around the house, so to speak. I do tend to get attached to my portraits and it can be hard to let them go at the end!

Dog-Portrait-Luckie-sketchI begin with a series of sketches, this one made the final cut.


The next step is stretching and priming the canvas. I like to begin on a mid-tone ground and work out the light and shadow with white and umber instead of working down from a white ground.


The next step is always the trickiest for me as I begin to add in color and form. I have to keep the final vision in mind as I know the painting takes on a life of it’s own at this stage. I go back and forth a lot at this point so that I don’t have to make any big adjustments later on. I spend a lot of time sitting and staring at it, sometimes weeks to be sure to catch little things that aren’t quite right.

Dog-Portrait-Luckie ptg 3

At this point I added in the collar and also brought the tone of her fur way down so that I could then go in and add more light. The back and forth of dark and light is what gives the painting a sort of glow. I learned this classical approach to painting early on in art school and it has stayed with me ever since.


Then on to the final stage where I added back some lighter tones to her ears and fur and of course put in her fuzzy little whiskers and it was finished!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Susan F permalink
    May 16, 2013 7:22 pm

    It was so fun to watch our portrait come to life! Beautiful work, Lisa.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: