How to paint your pet

I have often been asked how I paint my pet portraits. I always paint in oils, my personal preferred medium, and insist on using a very clear photograph. Lighting is important, but what is most necessary is a strong image of your pet's eyes. We view their souls through these amazing windows. Upon securing a good photograph, I draw the pet on my canvas with a variety of colored pencils. The reason for this is twofold. Colored pencils don't smudge like graphite, and it allows me to experiment with colors and values prior to application of paint. As always, my concentration is on the eyes. Finally, prior to painting the dog itself, I will apply my painted background colors. I tend to keep this a simple background as not to take interest off of my main subject. Once this dries, I'll begin painting the eyes. Stay tuned.

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