THE ARTIST’S NOTES
This is a PAWtrait oil painting portrait of these two fantastic Pitbull siblings, Roxy and Tyson. Love those gorgeous honey-colored eyes and big sweet faces! I have a huge soft spot for the often misunderstood breeds so I was super excited for the opportunity to paint these loving dogs.
THE PENCIL SKETCH. I started with the basic outline of Roxy and Tyson in pencil. Tyson is on the right with larger more masculine facial features and a white stripe. Roxy is on the left, her face appeared more soft and feminine. I sketched both pooches “pant-free” with perky ears. I paid special attention to capture Roxy’s “flying nun ears”, very cute…I love that description.
BACKGROUND COLOR. Next I added the basic colors for the background. The reds, yellows, and oranges are going to be the foundation colors for the fall leaves that I will be painting in later. The leaves will follow the swirl pattern around the dogs and appear as though they were caught mid-play to pose for their portrait.
ADDING THE LEAVES. I started adding the larger leaves into the background. The leaves are vibrant red and yellow; maple, oak, and birch. There are a few smaller leaves mixed in there, later I will be adding more. You can see now how the leaves are swirling around the dogs as though they were mid play and the wind continued to whip them around. Roxy and Tyson seemed like very close friends, so I wanted to capture that via the playful dancing fall leaves.
HERE COMES ROXY. Roxy is starting to come through. I added her basic colors and then continued adding in more detail after the first layer of paint dried. I tend to leave the nose and eyes for last since they require the most detail. The eyes are also the most important piece to paint accurately as they are the window to the soul. You can tell so much about a dog’s personality and life from their eyes!
HERE COMES TYSON. And now Tyson is coming through beside her. I love this stage in the painting because you can start to get a feel for how the colors in the background blend nicely and complement the dogs. You also get a peek at how the painting will look when it is complete. Again, his eyes and nose are left for later. I also do not do very much with the white portions on the dogs until I get the color areas just right.
DETAILS AND FINISHED. Now this is where it starts to get really fun! I’ve added more fall leaves to the background and have started the first wave of detail on the dogs. I spent a good amount of time on Roxy’s ear getting all the folds and highlights correct. I’ve added more shadows and highlights across her face as well. She has her honey brown eyes complete and the initial details of her nose started. Then it is time for Tyson to start making an appearance! Next to her, Tyson has the first half of his first wave of detail. He is looking very handsome! His face is bold and strong with classic pitbull features. Finally, I refined the shadows and highlights while making minor adjustments to ears, body, and jawline to ensure the portrait captures them perfectly! And there they are, Roxy and Tyson in their Pawtrait!
Feel free to leave any questions or comments for me below.
If you are interested in having a PAWtrait painted of your classy canine or equine, check us out at Playfully Refined.
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