Portrait of “Tobey” with description of process

in art •  last month  (edited)


A friend of my father’s recently requested a portrait of his daughters furry friend Tobey, who was getting on in years. He sent me a photo of the beautiful red-head enjoying the snow, so I decided water color pencils and gouache might best capture the image


I don’t like to trace because that takes away from the magic. I printed out the image, measured a few key points and began sketching in his face and fur.


My next step is to begin washing in the color. This is a messy, ugly step that takes away some of the nice qualities I achieved with the pencil, but if is necessary to move forward.


Then I slowly begin to go in with the gouache; alternating with occasional pencil work.


I find myself alternately improving and destroying the piece until I start tearing my hair out of my head, then I watch a documentary on Andrew Wyeth for inspiration. Watching the process of an artist I admire is always inspiring to me; and while this is no Mona Lisa; I am happy enough with the final results.


Have not heard back since I mailed the piece; I hope it was received in good condition.

Here is how it looked on the pad before it was removed.


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A charming illustration


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Thank you

It is interesting to hear the story of how other paint because reading your post I caught myself on my experience too, it was couple of time when I started with watercolor but due to light colors that lost its effect and I had to paint over with acrylic. It is good to know that we are all the same. I like the final version looks very realistic :)