Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Black Dog, White Dog, Tabby and Tortishell Cats

Here's the final version of my 5 pet portrait! Sorry for the poor photo quality, I so admire photographers!!

Everything just got detailed up, I use progressively sharper pencils and add the details. I save my sharpest pencil..and details for the faces and let the rest be a little softer to draw attention to the faces. With a portrait like this, a viewer's eyes travel from face to face and then hopefully stay awhile to take in more!

The white dog is really white here. Some "white" dogs are very beigey, like polar bears. We think "white", but they aren't. This guy is and I showed him that way. If you could see it in person, there's blue undertones and shadows.

The black and white dog, interestingly, also has blue undertones, but of course, black couldn't be further away from white! I purposely didn't highlight a lot of fur, although I could have given them more shine. I felt I had to simplify the body fur, there's enough going on here!

Now for tabbies, it's important to get the colors just right. The stripes also need to be just right for likeness! I do a lot of light layers...just glazing the surface of the paper with a dull pencil point...of the light shade of fur before adding any of the identifying darker stripes.

Tortoishell or "calico" kitties also start with the lighter color....the oranges all over (unless there was white, I'd start with that instead). Then, I can "paint" in the large areas of darks and finish them. Finally, with a very sharp dark pencil, I pick out the areas where the orange and the darks kind of mix. Same with a brindle dog.

Finishing up with everyone, I use very sharp points to overlap fur colors, fur over background, and whiskers. I don't like real noticable whiskers, I want them, but I don't want them to detract from the eyes. And that's it!

I hope you've enjoyed reading about how I did this portrait. I loved the animals, but the "mom" is even cooler. I know lots of artists dislike taking commissions, I love them! I get to meet so many great people!!

If you have a comment or a question, just post it and I'll be sure to answer it. If you'd like to read this whole blog, just click on the banner at the top. If you'd like to visit my pet portrait website, it's my name, Robin Zebley, dot com! http://robinzebley.com . thanks for stopping by!!


Cat-in-a-Box said...

Adorable! They are all sweet - but I think I like the ginger cat the best. Everyone else is posing or at least taking an interest in the viewer - the tabby on the other hand, she's just doing her thing! (Just like my tabby!)

jafabrit said...

I love their expressions, but especially the cat front left.

Robin said...

Thanks for posting, CIAB and JafaBrit!

She said I caught their personalities...even sleeping, lol! I also loved that alert look in the eye of front left kitty.