How to paint a pet portrait

I am often asked - "Corneille, how do you do this?". Well, first you must have a passion. Next, teach yourself to paint what you SEE and not what you "think" you see. Look for color!!!! Black is NOT black, white is NOT white, etc.

I begin each painting with a good photo, good lighting is important and I must, must must see the eyes of the animal!!!! My portraits begin with a study of the subject, and I sketch it on canvas in colored pencil. This gives me a bit of a road map to follow when I begin to paint. When you use standard graphite pencil, it tends to smudge into the paint.

Paint back to front. In other words, paint your background first!!!! Next I paint the eyes. To me, this is the MOST important feature on your pet, the window to their soul. Once I have connected, I begin to paint from the eye out. Again, color and lighting is most valuable!

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