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  • corneillemallard

How to paint a pet portrait

So often I am asked "Corneille, how do you do it?"... Well, first I have honed my skills for about 20+ years. However, here is some of what I have learned.

  1. Begin with a very clear photograph, that has genuine color and a great image of the animals eyes.

  1. I choose to draw my subject on canvas in colored pencil. First, it will NOT smudge like graphite and second, it allows you a roadmap to follow once you begin to apply paint.

  2. I always, always begin painting my portraits with the eyes. It connects me with my subject. Make certain you add reflected light to give life and soul to the pet.

4. Once I paint the eyes, and make my "connection" I add the background. This is an important step. Adding the background first will allow your subject to appear in the forefront of the canvas. THIS MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE, TRUST ME

5. Study your subject. Understand how the nose "looks" and "works". Continue painting. Look closely. Find colors that you don't "see". The pinks, blues, purples, greens. They are there and make your portrait more vibrant!!!!

5. Work "front to back" then "back to front". I start with the eyes and face. Then I look closely at the body/torso and paint that area "back to front" which allows the viewer to see that the top coat is actually the top coat....

I hope this helps. If you have any questions or struggles, don't hesitate to contact me!

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