- Lesson details
Heather’s energetic brushwork betrays a level of excitement barely contained… on the brink of becoming a hot mess. She loves to work ‘alla prima,’ a way of sketching in oil where the artist works ‘wet into wet.’ Her desire to paint and her love of animals has evolved into her most popular commission request: the beloved pet portrait. Having shared her knowledge of drawing basics in NMA’s Beginner Series, we’ve welcomed Heather back to the studio for a generous demonstration of Pet Portraiture. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to paint an expressive and characteristic portrait of your pet. Heather holds your hand through the entire process of getting a good reference photo, gathering supplies and materials, paint application, and more. Follow along as she makes critical decisions about color, value, and shape design for her painting of a Yorkshire Terrier.
- Digital Tablet
- 45-45-90 Transparent Triangle Ruler
- Mechanical Pencil
- Carbon Paper or Transfer Paper
- Robert Simmons Signet Brushes
- Rosemary & Co Brushes – Masters Choice
- Paint Scraper
- Small Palette Knife
- Artist’s Grade Oil Paints – Titanium White, Alizaran Permanent, Transparent Red Oxide, Terra Rosa, Permanent Red, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Yellow Light, Cerulean Blue, Phthalo Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Ivory Black
- Shop Cloth
- Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits
- 6″ x 6″ Canvas
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oil painting and animals, and it’s the Pet Portrait.
If you love animals, and your feet aren’t wet yet; if you haven’t been sucked into
art yet, that’s okay; let this be a fun experience for you.
I’m going to hold your hand if you haven’t painted before.
If you’re a seasoned veteran, we’re actually going to get a great academic look at representing
form, organizing value patterns, and that personal expression that comes with that paint
application and laying down those brush strokes.
If you’re going to start with your own photo and paint your own dog; if you’re really
serious and you’re working on a portfolio, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get started.
oil painting and animals, and it’s the Pet Portrait.
This is a really pretty easy sell, and we’re all super sucked in when we see cute furry
faces, nevermind how much we love our own pets.
When you get to work on your own piece, you’re making something really personal.
I know we’re super grateful for IKEA and all those awesome little prints we can hang
on our wall, but this is totally different, and it’s really, really nice to have some
Portraiture for me is really about connection.
There is a relationship.
If we’re talking about our own pet, there is a very deep connection between us and our
If we’re making a painting for a client, a friend, a family member, not only is there
a connection between them and their pet the same as we have, but there is another connection
between us, the artist, and the friend or family member.
I can honestly think of fewer times I’ve felt more rewarded than when I delivered a
pet portrait to a client and actually watched them cry or tear up.
It’s really touching.
We have this connection between us and the subject.
There is also the connection between us and the client, and then there is the connection
between us and the medium.
And with the oil painting exercises we’re going to do today, we’re actually going
to get a great academic look at representing form, organizing value patterns, and that
personal expression that comes with that paint application and laying down those brush strokes.
I have to add that it may have really been my love of animals that drew me to art in
the first place.
I have to share this picture with you guys.
I remember discovering in my way the art of observational drawing when I had my best friend,
my cat Figaro, when I was in third grade laying on the stairs.
We’ll share that picture with you know.
It was probably my love of animals that was probably my gateway into art in the first place.
So, if you love animals, but your feet aren’t wet yet, if you haven’t been sucked into
art yet, that’s okay.
Let this be a fun experience for you.
I’m going to hold your hand if you haven’t painted before.
If you have and you’re a seasoned veteran, if you’re someone that wants to get into
animal painting or wildlife or creature design, we’re going to have that covered too, with
a real painterly application.
This is going to be great.
This is going to touch on all levels.
If you’re going to start with your own photo and paint your own dog, if you want to come
home and unwind and you decide you’ve drank too much wine this week and you’d rather
paint a pet instead, or if you’re really serious and you’re working on a portfolio,
we’ve got you covered.
So, how do we do it?
Well, really the art of pet portraiture goes much deeper and encompasses a lot of things
We’re not going to go into all those today.
Many of them are already covered in lessons through New Masters Academy.
Ideally, pet portraiture would start with a good understanding drawing, some basics
in animal anatomy, and even go into good composition, how to make thumbnails, things like this.
A lot of painting and drawing animals is going to come from your knowledge and observation
In this class, I’m designing it to sort of skip some of these levels.
If you really want to pursue them, please check out the handle below.
There are going to be links to the other videos.
Where to tackle drawing problems, how to trouble shoot and learn to do thumbnails.
So please, reference those things, but for today I’m going to walk you through it so
that you don’t need to worry about drawing.
You don’t need to worry about your level.
We’re going to go ahead and get started at the level of getting a good photo reference,
which is another big part of animal portraiture.
So, how do you get a good photo?
Animals, some of them are hams, but not many of them are professional models.
It’s often easier to get a piece of fruit or a human to cooperate.
Sort of drugging them with a lot of Benadryl or working from taxidermy specimens, it’s
helpful to have some tricks up your sleeve when it comes to pet photography.
I’m not going to assume that you have access to a fancy studio or even a really fancy camera.
A lot of my clients have gotten great photos from their phone if they can just be patient
and they’re a little coachable.
So, we want to make a great oil painting.
That can take anywhere from many hours to many days.
We’re going to need a good photo.
In a lot of cases, that one ideal photo is kind of like the unicorn.
Sometimes we actually need more than one to supplement it.
But, how do we get it?
How do we get a good photo?
These are some practical tips that I found that are really, really helpful.
One is that if you’re going to take photos of your pet, the timing can be important.
Even if we don’t three frames a second or some paparazzi like shutter speed on our camera,
a lot of us have video on our camera.
One great way that I’ve found is before you come home, if you’ve gone to work for
the day, get your phone out and flip it on to video.
Before you even start walking out, turn your camera on.
That way when you open the door the dog is running up toward you.
You can take a bunch of stills later out of the video.
You can pull the screenshots or the stills from the video that you’ve taken.
So that’s one trick to try.
The other thing you want to keep in mind is the light source.
I actually really prefer natural light.
I would say avoid flash if at all possible.
The best, I think—and this is in my opinion—I really prefer directional light.
I’ve gotten some great paintings with ambient light.
Ambient light may be a cloudy day.
There is this kind of a soft light over the whole animal.
In that case, you’re not going to have like a light side and a dark side, it’s going
to be kind of a nice, evenly lit picture.
That can be great.
Directional light is nice because with the light source coming from one angle you get
sort of an interesting pattern.
We would call that a value pattern or maybe a shadow pattern if it’s coming from a light
source. Maybe part of my face is lit and part of is in dark.
That can be a really interesting design element and give you some opportunities there.
One way I like to try to get photos in natural light with directional light is I love if
you have a garage or maybe a front porch.
If you have a garage and you can open the garage door and look at the floor and find
where the edge of the shadow is, you can take your little dog and put him to the edge, try
to get him to stay there, and then come back into the light and shoot back at him.
You’ll see, look at that pattern of light and dark that falls on him.
So, an open garage, maybe on the back of a couch near a window the same thing would happen.
You just turn off the interior lights and let that light from the window provide the
So, that’s another good tip.
I think another really important thing that I’ve heard from so many teachers that has
been important to look for too is the overall shape, just as a nice attractive shape.
There are some angles that just look better than others.
The head and neck position, the tilt one way or another.
We want to have the silhouette look nice just as a shape in of itself.
That might seem like a tall order, and it can kind of be, and that’s why sometimes
we’ve got to be ready to compromise or to use more than one photo.
Let’s look at some examples of photos to start, and I’ll show you what I mean.
Alright, let’s look at some photos.
Here is a good example of a light and dark pattern or a light and shadow pattern.
In this case, we see a nice obvious shape.
To my taste—this is preferable if you can get it.
It’s interesting, it’s a nice design element, and it helps illustrate form.
That’s a pro in this one.
The one thing I don’t really love about it is there is sort of this tilt or an ear
position where this one seems way more in front than this one.
If you went and took this photo again, I’d hold that shutter down a little longer, get
some more snaps of this guy.
Wait until he squares a little more toward the camera so we don’t have this kind of—it’s
not an idea shape.
It might even be a little distorted.
This guy below him, he looks like he’s got a strong light and shadow pattern, but it
looks like it was taken at high noon, so it’s just kind of top down.
I don’t know that it does anything for him.
It’s not bad but it’s not great.
This ear position isn’t super cute, so I might even try waiting until it’s later
in the day, starting earlier, getting that sun lower in the sky, or getting out of the
sun and getting under a tree.
Also, you might want to try a different height.
Maybe squat down, stand up a little higher.
Try moving your position as well.
Now, these two have different lighting scenarios.
This top one was taken during a sunny day but in the shade.
This is actually kind of nice, even lighting.
It does still have some sweet little spots where it’s a little lighter and darker,
which is nice.
If you can even get them a little closer to where the light source is coming from so that
he’s still in the shade but right at that edge, maybe the light will be a little stronger,
and that might provide a little nicer design with more contrast light to dark.
But this is still a great shape.
I really like this one.
This lower one, the shape is great.
The light is a little too even.
We’re not really getting a lot of information we can pull out of.
This would be a good example of you’ve got a cute snapshot; just put it on the fridge.
I would not necessarily think we would improve much on this in a painting, and maybe if it
was a small scale 6 x 6 inches or something, but I would probably try to get some more
reference from that one.
Alright, these are some really cute beagle photos.
I know not all of you have access to a studio, but if you’re working with clients or you
do, you know, I actually have received a couple photos that were taken from a studio before.
Most of the time people will end up having to use their phones and go outside.
This is what a good studio photo looks like here.
We have an example of that.
This is the same dog but outside.
Very similar pose.
The profile or near profile is really an attractive shape, and if you’re a beginner that’s
one of the easier ones to work from.
You’ll notice that with the one outside there is a little more of a light to dark
pattern and maybe some more temperature changes you can see in the fur.
This one taken inside in the studio is awesome, and for a portrait it’s great because we
can get into the details and information that make that dog that dog.
You know, his likeness.
I really like how there would be some opportunities to work from a more translucent, warm kind
of fur here to adding white or opacity as we come in to this side of this face, and
that sets up kind of a nice, cool gradient he could work with.
Either way, these are both great options.
We’ll get more into opacity later.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, do not worry.
I’m going to look at one more example.
This is one where I have the photo and the painting that came from that photo.
I think it’s worth looking at how those translate and why that’s important.
This photo was taken in a garage with the door open.
The dog is in shadow, but the light is coming from an open garage door.
We slid this dog bed so it was almost to the edge of the light.
We looked on the ground, found where the shadow hit, and slid him to the edge so that even
though he’s in shadow we actually still have this nice light/dark shape.
That is really attractive.
In my opinion, that’s ideal.
I prefer it.
It’s my taste, but it’s also interesting and it helps us describe the form.
There are also places where we can see some temperature shifts where it’s a little warmer
In this ear the fur is a little warmer just naturally locally, so there are some things
I really, really like about it.
That’s sort of I guess 7/8 or a little bit of a head tilt is interesting.
This is a beautiful shape if we look at just the silhouette.
Just a really nice shape to work with.
Then you can see in this photo—excuse me, in the painting how I composed it.
There is a little more room in front of her than there is behind her.
Sometimes that can make us a little anxious if we push this too close to the edge, so
leaving some space here can be ideal.
Then you can see where I try to keep these light and dark families together.
We’ll talk about this more, but you really want it to read like a light and dark side.
That can be tricky.
If you look at a dog and say the dog is white, I’m going to pick up white.
You want to check yourself.
I really want to see a light family and a shadow family.
We’ll get more into this, but I just wanted to show you some examples of things you might
see in your own photos or that you might get from your own friends or family or even from clients.
Alright, so once you have your reference photo, you’ve got an idea that composition or where
you want that head on the page, the next thing is how to set yourself up for the painting.
We’re getting really close.
You’re probably surprised we’re not painting it, but so much of this preparation is really,
If you’re a seasoned artist, you actually might want to start just straight into painting,
just straight into a wet medium.
If you haven’t drawn a lot before, I would recommend starting yourself for success by
getting your drawing prepared on your canvas ahead of time in pencil.
One way to do that is to simply draw it out if you’re comfortable.
If you’re not, I would recommend one of two things: If you have a projector at home
that is a great solution.
Actually, sometimes people—there is a third option—use carbon paper to transfer a drawing
over and sort of trace it on.
There is an easy, easy simple and cheap method.
This is Renaissance technology that we can do really, really quickly with a ruler and
I’m going to show you how to make a grid.
If you’re comfortable with drawing you might skip ahead, but if you haven’t done a lot
of drawing, this is a really important step, and I’ll walk you through it now.
Also, you can find a finished example of a grid in the PDF, and if you want to use my
reference that I’m working from, you can find an example of that reference with the
grid already on it so it’ll be ready for you to just pick up and draw onto your canvas.
Alright, I’m going to start with this triangle.
This would be my canvas.
I’m going to find the diagonals, which will give me the center point.
From there, I’m going to drop a vertical and a horizontal.
So now we have a start.
From there it’s just going to be doing the same thing over and over into smaller and
smaller cubes until you maybe have four or eight cubes across
depending on your drawing ability.
At this point, you could do twice as many.
If you’re comfortable with this giving you enough information, you can stop there and
you’ll use this to help you find and transfer your drawing onto the canvas.
completed, whether you decided to trace it or use a grid.
If you’re ready to work with the paint, we’re about to get there.
Before we get started on the painting, I’m just going to show you quickly sort of an
overview of the materials I’m going to be working with.
Alright, here are some of the materials that I’m going to use.
I actually just use bristle brushes just because that’s how I kind of came up.
A lot of these are Robert Simmons.
Utrecht used to make some good ones that I used to use too.
These are some softer ones, some Rosemary and I think Langnickel.
This is like my little baby signature brush, but I like to have it around just in case
we get into any tiny little details.
Paint scraper is great for your palette to clean it off.
Some people like to use knives a lot.
I usually use them for just kind of mixing and maintenance, but you can actually use
these as a great tool as well.
On the palette, probably way more paint then we’ll need, but I’ve got a titanium white,
an alizarin permanent, a transparent red oxide, terra rosa.
This is a Rembrandt red-medium or red permanent, so it’s sort of a cheap replacement for
cadmium, but it’s really not a replacement.
Nothing is quite like cadmium.
I decided that was going to be plenty for today.
Ochre which I might not get into.
This is a cad yellow medium and I think a cad lemon or a cad light.
A cerulean which is a kind of fun one.
I’m really into the phthalo blue.
I may not get into it, but I have it out.
Ultramarine I use a lot.
Just in case we need to punch something or get into black.
These are some shop towels which are nice and thick and last a little longer.
They are from the auto section versus the home goods section at the store.
So, a couple of things here.
Off screen I’ve got my Gamsol to thin the paint.
Alright, you guys, we’re doing it.
What I’m going to start, I like to get a little of kind of a neutral color.
I take transparent red oxide which is a brown color and ultramarine blue, and I start to
make a little bit of a puddle.
I trying to get just enough paint to draw with.
Drawing in paint for me is different.
I want to be very careful about how much I actually put down because the painting is
kind of like a layer cake.
All this has got to stack up on itself.
To me, there is more magic and fewer strokes, so we want to try to be judicious if we can.
What I’m doing is I’m actually getting some on my brush and then kind of wiping it
back off and just dipping back into my mineral spirits to thin and kind of looking for a
consistency that’s pretty thin and trying to make sure there is not too much on my brush,
especially with this little painting.
This is kind of going to be a delicate size because this is 6 x 6 inches.
I’ve got a round—it’s nice to find a drawing brush you’re comfortable with.
I don’t know how long I’ll hold it.
No one knows what might happen.
I’ll try to walk you guys through it.
I’m looking at a big overall shape of the client’s head.
This cutie is Mowgli.
There will be some things about this that will be easier than others, and we’ll talk
For right now, I want to find where it’s going to go on the page.
I’m going to find the uppermost limit of this ear, and I don’t want to go past maybe
like right there.
Maybe this one is a little bit lower.
Then I’m going to just check that angle by locking out my arm and dropping a line over.
I don’t want to go past this limit here, somewhere in there.
You might barely even see these marks.
That’s the point.
When I get too heavy-handed, I usually regret it later.
That’ll probably happen any minute now.
We’re going to hold off as long as possible.
So, making some marks.
If I check for what the nose placement is, it’s close to the middle maybe just below
If I find the midline maybe somewhere about there.
Notice my arm is kind of shaky.
It kind of always does that.
Sometimes I kind of have to start and just kind of stab like a pirate really quick to
lay something down.
Hopefully, it’s normal.
I think his nose is maybe a third of the way in.
Maybe somewhere around here.
That’s a little bit dark.
So the nose might fall like in this area.
That’s kind of what we’re looking at.
I see that this big shape from his ear down to that fur, I’m going to kind of look past
the fur for a second and just find this angle.
It’s kind of like maybe here.
I’m going to just kind of indicate some of that.
And off the side, lower limit, I love the shape of his bandana, and that’s a great
kind of design feature to come around and finish it off.
There is a nice cast shadow kind of a falling on that bandana so we’ll be able to do a
darker side and a lighter side which will be fun to talk about.
I’m going to choke up since my arm is so shaky and you guys are having to watch it.
It’s probably not super fun to watch.
I’m just going to hold it like a pencil for a little bit.
I bet it would make you carsick otherwise.
I remember trying to play Halo with my sister when it came out, and it didn’t know about
fancy video games, and I almost threw up.
It was rough.
We’ll say lower limit maybe somewhere around here.
These can be kind of estimates, which is why I’m trying to keep them pretty light.
So we’ve got the nose.
I do want to have a little more space in front than behind, so I’ll probably push this
back a little bit.
Remember, these lines are going to change.
A lot of what you’ll see me doing today is kind of wrestling.
It’s sort of like if you’ve ever tried surfing.
Sometimes if you’re ever too far forward on the board and you nose-dive.
Then the next time you know to be further back.
Then, if you’re too far back you don’t catch the wave at all.
Really, that’s just what painting is.
It’s trying to find that correct place, sometimes missing in both directions first.
The better you get the fewer times you’ll miss.
You’ll definitely see me miss.
I have a little different way of seeing, I think I actually see more, maybe by shape
or bigger volumes or something, versus like a very linear style.
What I’m doing now is pretty linear.
I actually start to get more confident when I start to see bigger shapes together.
We’ll use this to get started, but you might see me make a lot of changes to it.
I’m going to leave that off for later.
We thought the nose was somewhere below this.
I think what I’m going to start doing is drawing in washes.
You’ll definitely, if you have time and haven’t seen the stuff that Joe Weatherly
has and Glenn Vilpuu has got, they’ve got some great videos on how to draw animals.
We’re sort of skipping over a lot of that.
If you can learn those abstractions of the forms, that’ll help you so much when you
We’re not going into it now, but if you have time I really recommend you take some
time to look at that stuff.
So, if we say the nose is going to be somewhere in here, then I’m going to look at the eye,
which is going to be up—that’s probably too high.
The brow ridge.
We definitely need more space here. This isn’t quite fitting.
The drawing versus having just drawn it in ahead of time.
I feel like even if I’m not perfect with the drawing, I kind of like the character
I get sometimes better.
I might be rushing a little bit later on to get to a finish and demonstration, and maybe
the drawing won’t be as high on my priority list.
Sometimes I feel like even if the drawing is perfect, if I don’t kind of get that
fresh spirit of the feeling of the pose, or some of that magic that comes from indication
or fun brush strokes, then I don’t really feel like it’s a success for me.
I’m okay with the drawing being a little bit off especially when we’re doing a quick
little study today.
Ideally, you’d want to be able to do it.
I’m going to get some of these down.
The midline is an important thing to find.
Now I’m just going to be doing some adjusting.
We know that ear is coming about over the nose.
We know—let’s see, the bottom of the head to the eye and the eye is about the top.
That’s pretty close.
Let’s find that corner of the mouth.
If I judge from this tip of the ear there is almost a rhythm kind of coming down through.
If I judge from the inside of the eye it’s about here.
If I judge off the nose, it kind of swings back.
What I love about oil is putting on a little bit with the brush that has the paint and
then taking off a little bit.
I kind of fight for the drawing in paint.
And we know there is a little tongue, and the tongue starts sort off the side of the eye.
That might be in shadow.
Okay, this shape…
I sort of want to stop and say where is the middle.
I should have probably done that right away.
So the middle between the eyes is sort of right off that ear, and the middle of the
nose coming off.
Let’s see if I got that angle right.
Maybe not terrible.
Then back, this guy down.
And I think I need to push this eye back a little more.
Alright, so if you see my hand disappear off the page, I’m actually checking angles and
using the brush as a measuring tool by sliding my thumb up and down it and comparing things
from a reference to my painting.
If that’s not familiar to you, definitely go find the beginner series and check it out.
It’ll cover all of that in detail.
How to use your brush as a measure, how to check angles.
Mainly you’ll see me kind of slide my thumb up and down sometimes.
You’ll see me with it at an angle.
Just know my elbow is locked so that there is no way that I can bend it or shorten the
distance when I transfer from my reference to my painting.
That way it won’t change.
Lock your elbow out and keep everything else really still when you’re doing that.
Alright, I’m going to try to get a little bit more bold in here, and then I’m going
to come back and take out what I don’t like.
I’m looking for some kind of key landmarks of this dark shape, and there is sort of this piece.
It’s maybe like and eyebrow coming down.
I want check and see if the eye placement looks close.
It looks like it’s in the top third, so that’s probably pretty close.
It might be kind of high.
I’ll probably scoot the eyes down a little bit.
I’ll probably scoot the eyes down a little bit.
This eye shape—if you’re working from another photo at home, try to get that drawing
secure and in place.
Do it in a thin, preferably kind of close to monochrome.
I would say probably even a warm monochrome color to start.
Since this area here is all in shadow, I’m actually just going to kind of knock this
I’m starting to squint now, and I want to see that pattern that we talked about, that
bigger shadow pattern and less detail.
I really want to get that working before I get too excited about detail.
You’ll find actually that in doing that, your details will fall much better into place.
Don’t let them seduce you yet.
Easier said than done.
It looks like that’s kind of falling into shadow here.
This is sort of a combination of shadow plus dark fur.
There is a cast shadow, a little shape of the eye.
Then the mustache pops over.
I’m kind of just going to squint and maybe just make this dark for now.
And then off that mustache.
That lower limit of the mouth and tongue is below this angle, so I might have brought
that down too far.
Before we forget, I’m going to take this brush which is kind of a
cheap brush I think I got.
It’s super stiff, and so I kind of like it as my eraser.
If you see a mistake that’s obvious, fix it when you see it because sometimes you forget.
If you leave something in that’s wrong that we know is wrong, it’ll start to throw you.
You’ll make all your other judgements off of it.
If you see something and you think that’s not right, just stop right then and get it.
I think that may be close, but I might just bring it up a little bit.
And then I’m going to find that I’m going to get that all dark for now.
Okay, so then coming down here, we’ve got the mouth.
We’re going to leave a little space for that tongue.
We’re going to carry this up and around here.
I’m going to get a little bit more of a red in this as I’m drawing because I want
to kind of have it there for later when I work on top.
This is warmer because it looks like probably it’s closer to the light, but it’s also
kind of a warm fur.
Those things can be tricky when we’re painting animals because animals have fur to sort of
camouflage them and disguise them, and their fur can kind of play tricks.
As you’re painting you always want to check with yourself and say why is that the color
that it is?
Is it that color or that value because of the light, or is it a local fur color?
I’m trying to be patient.
This stuff to me is important, and I sometimes tend to want to rush through it and get careless.
I haven’t stepped back in a while.
I want to probably do a little more, and then I really need to step back
and see where it’s wrong.
There is always going to be something I need to fix.
So, this painting is going to have some challenges because we really want to describe form.
Art is communicating something three-dimensional in a two-dimensional surface
or on a two-dimensional surface.
We’re trying to tell you what this form is doing.
The fur is disguises what the form is doing.
It has a life of its own and a character of its own.
It’s going to be a little bit tricky, and if this is your first time painting fur, it is hard.
If you’re frustrated because it’s not coming easily, don’t be frustrated.
That’s just called painting.
That’s exactly where you’re supposed to be.
That’s okay if it feels hard.
Just don’t get upset because it’s hard most of the time, to be honest.
Probably every time it is hard.
Even when we get better it’s still hard.
Okay, this isn’t quite right.
Something is weird about this.
Let me try to see the—I’m squinting down and seeing if that helps.
I’m going to look for this kind of shape coming in.
If this is the edge of that fur…We’re going to come back in and fix a lot of this
in just a second.
This kind of looks like a mess.
I’m going to definitely need to find and clean this up.
I’m just going to put all of this into the same shape for now.
I’m trying to see less squinting down.
I’m looking for the bigger relationships.
I’m stepping back and I’m going to start fixing problems.
This probably needs to come down lower.
This is really in shadow here.
I’m just going to connect that.
And then I’m going to connect my eraser...
I’m looking at that mustache shape.
I really need to try to get that right.
This edge of the nose needs to come up past that eye.
Then this needs to come past the nose.
Okay, this is interesting.
Here is one of those things that can be tricky.
If you look at the reference and you look over the nose and you see on the bridge of
the nose there is a black patch of fur, but that black patch of fur belongs in the light.
Actually, if you squint closer to the light family than it is to the dark family even
though the fur is black.
So, for right now, I think I’m going to squint and just include it all as a light
shape even though I probably started to put it in darker originally.
Again, we’re going to have to make some decisions because there is so much fur that
we can’t just go in and copy it all or it’s probably not going to read the way we want
it to read as long like a dog form.
That might just be a mass of fur.
Okay, I’m going to take a break in just a second and step back and take a closer look,
but before we do that, I’m going to put in some washes of red in where these ears
are going to go.
I’m using actually a transparent red oxide.
I don’t really want to use it straight out of the tube, so I’m going to gray it down
with the ultramarine blue.
I’m just going to sent it way down.
This will be an option to be underneath to have underneath the things
that will layer on top.
I think I’d like to get that in dark before we stop.
This is coming too far over here.
Okay, so seriously, I’m going to take a break for a second and look at this
and start to see what’s wrong.
I recommend if you haven’t stepped back yet, pause it and step back for a minute and
just look, or walk away and come back.
All of a sudden, you’ll start to see way more of what you want to change.
Like I said, it’s usually a lot of back and forth with something like this.
It’s probably good for you having to see me kind of having to struggle a little bit,
because this is pretty accurate.
This kind of what happens when I’m back at the ranch, AKA my apartment.
So now I’ve got some paint down.
I’m going to start sort of fine tuning some of these shapes, seeing if I can get more
confident with this whole lay in before we start adding any opaque.
This is all translucent.
This is warm browns and blues.
Opaque might be in addition of something like white.
In my opinion, the longer I can stay translucent, usually the better I like it.
That’s like a common mistake, I think, getting too much white.
It might be a matter of my taste, but also white pops things forward, and it’s hard
to have as much depth.
It can start to look overdone and chalky and less realistic, I would say, in my opinion,
if there is too much.
I kind of like to try to err on too little because you can always add more.
But in oil, once you add white it’s really hard to go backwards.
I hope you are nicer to yourselves than I am to myself.
I’m working on it.
I made a decision I was done beating myself up.
I think I’m better.
If you catch yourself getting frustrated—it’s okay if it’s hard, but remember, you can’t
talk s* to yourself.
It’s not okay.
If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, don’t say it to yourself.
Probably you guys are like, this is great, I’m doing fine.
But, just in case you hear it come up.
That’s a little too cool.
Let me get a little more warm.
Looking for those big shapes.
Okay, I’m just adding a little bit of crimson since I’m trying to draw a little bit.
I’m getting towards that tongue and I just want to kind of have that laid in a little
bit warm where this shadow may end up.
You’ll notice there is a highlight on the nose.
I’m not going there yet.
For me that kind of falls into that opaque situation, so I might erase a little bit where
that highlight would go, but I’m going to wait to put that in.
It looks like maybe this space is too short, like the eye needs to go up a little bit.
Maybe that’s a little warmer.
Stepping back, I think the eyes might still be a little closer together,
so I might need to adjust that.
This little triad looks too tight to me.
Interesting piece of fur that’s touching right towards the tongue.
I don’t really like that that’s tangent.
I might actually change it.
I don’t like that the tip is touching the tip.
That is kind of a weird feeling to me.
Two lines coming together like that can kind of steal all of the focus sometimes.
In a photo you buy it.
You know it’s a photo.
You know it’s real.
You know how to be just like that.
It’s a photo.
In a painting, if things like that are kind of funny looking, they just look funny looking.
We don’t want to copy everything we see necessarily.
Actually probably never do we ever want to copy everything we see.
Otherwise, what’s the point of painting?
I’m just going to stumble over that. Okay.
So, I’m stopping and looking.
I’m going to find the edge of Mowgli’s right eye.
It’s past halfway. I mean it’s almost to the third.
I’ve got it way too close to half.
I think I need to push it back this way.
Yeah, that eye is kind of at halfway.
That was different brush than I thought it was.
So, if you’re working from a drawing that was already laid in, keep looking for those
big shapes and try to keep it warm and translucent.
Think about it in terms of a layer cake.
If you’re going to add more strokes to the top later,
what color would you like underneath them?
Sit back and kick it because you’re probably way ahead of me.
Alright, so do these shapes look more like his shapes now?
I’m thinking they’re getting better.
I’ve got to make sure our favorite little Ewok starts to pop out of this.
When I feel confident enough of where these features are, I think I’m just going to
go ahead and lock one in and start to render it out.
Just a little blue, a little cooler over here.
It’s probably too much.
Yeah, too much blue.
That’s my eraser so I’m re-laying it down.
Also, this canvas, I should have mentioned, this is actually oil primed linen.
It’s once of the cheapest oil primed linens that I’ve found.
It’s just from a book of sheets.
You can buy it on a roll.
Centurion makes it. It’s really slick.
I really like it for small paintings, but I notice that if I’m doing a longer painting—I
like to use bristles and I like to use a lot of paint, and it doesn’t necessarily let
you keep adding it forever.
It doesn’t have that much tooth. It’s nice and smooth.
Your texture makes a difference, and everyone kind of has a different preference.
I really think that it’s personal.
I think you’ve just got to play with it.
You know I sometimes like something for a year and somehow I decide I don’t like it anymore.
I’m not even really too sure.
You kind of go through trends, I think.
Okay, I’m going to push this to get the nose and that corner of the eye.
They are supposed to be in proximity.
The tongue should be behind the nose.
Okay, now that surface is starting to get full.
It’s going to be nuanced.
This is going to be tricky.
Okay, I’m actually going to try something.
I’m going to get a little more paint out.
I’m still not feeling super confident in these shapes, so I’m going to keep going
with the lay-in.
I want to just play with some color a little bit and see if we can get some temperature
relationships figured out.
That’s going to be another trick.
Light landing on black fur.
Some of these are kind of harder concepts, guys.
My brush actually is probably more paint thinner than paint on it.
It’s probably more of an eraser than anything at this point.
So, coming down that angle from the ear can sort of hit the inside of the eye.
I’m pushing that back.
Try to find this eye again.
Now we’ve probably got them too far apart.
Sometimes I feel like what I’m doing is setting my future self up.
Maybe I would like this ear when I get back to it.
So I’m standing back, highly recommend it.
I hope I get to talk about some of these concepts I wanted to work with you on, but I might
just be fighting for survival on this one.
Alright, I might just need to paint an eye and make the rest of it
kind of adjust around it. Probably push this back a little bit.
He needs to have a little longer feel to his head.
Let’s just actually kill this white.
I’m thinking of putting in this little wash so I might be able to loose the soft
edges of those furry furry ears later.
Sometimes I like more of a cutout shape just because I like it.
It’s not necessarily in good taste, just maybe my taste.
But I think with this, those kind of furry Yorkie Ewok ears, I think I just have to find
a way to lose them so that they appear soft.
That has a lot to do with the edges.
Sometimes I’ll actually tone a canvas to start so that there is no white to throw your
eye off, but also just kind of something fun to work with.
This photo was a studio photo so there is really not anything in the background.
We’d look for a gradient, of course.
We always look for gradients, but it’s pretty much just a flat background.
I apologize guys, if you are a beginner.
This is not how I would want to be led if I were you, but I hope you can hang on and
learn something from the struggle of this.
One of my other favorite tools, the paper towel.
So, we’ve got to lock something down.
This is starting to get pushed around a lot, and it’s time to find something,
commit, and put it in.
Let’s see what we can do.
I can get a little into black.
Still looks pretty close together.
So, I switched to a softer brush since I’ve been taking too much paint off with the bristle,
and I want to sort of get more down.
This is more of a sable. Not more of a sable. It is a sable.
I want to lay a tile in and just see if—okay, so I did get a little into the ochre here,
so it’s starting to get a little opaque, but I want to move it forward or else I’ll
just be playing with the drawing to get my confidence forever.
At some point, I’m going to start and make the adjustments as I go.
So, now I’m kind of getting into a little bit of white.
I really want to find the shape around this eye.
And if I can get something started, then I’ll be able to base other decisions
off of it. At some point you just really need something to work with.
If I get a little yellow sometimes I’ll go back into the purple.
Purple and yellow are opposites or compliments.
It goes more from a bright color of chroma to a grayer version of that color when you
add an opposite to it.
I don’t want to use paint straight out of the tube.
I want to neutralize it a little bit.
I’m being careful with these yellows that I’m using to put a little purple back in
there to gray it down, as they say.
If I can’t quite lay the tile down that I want, I’ve got to get my towel and dry
my brush off and make sure I’m not getting a lot of extra paint in the stroke.
That’s a little better.
When you lay this little tiles in, put one in and stop and check it.
A lot of times on your palette you can’t even really tell exactly if it’s right until
you hold it up to your painting because it’s all relative to what’s in your canvas.
So you give it your best guess and try to know what puddle you’re pulling from.
But, I always try to go carefully when I lay it in because you’re just not sure until
you really see it up there sometimes.
I’m going to look at, this is the kind of interesting part where the fur is black, but
it’s in light so it’s not black.
It’s actually much closer to these light colors in values, I should say.
I just got a lot of turp on my brush.
That’s why I went to the side to wipe it off.
You can actually get it way too loaded with mineral spirits, and that’s another issue
to contend with.
So, that’s way too blue.
I’m going to take my brown back in there.
I kind of did like the blue actually, just the grayer version.
I’m kind of using this shape to get to the next piece.
I’m going to throw a little up there because it looks like it’s similar kind of key up there.
Somehow we need to find a color that looks like that black in the light.
So, starting with blue and adding white and just laying it in and see what we think.
I might leave it in as kind of a placeholder and then come back and work with it more later.
So, this is a little bit of a mess still, and at some point I’m going to actually
need to lay some tiles in that show the direction and the plane change.
So, this nose is getting way out of position.
Here is the top of it.
Be careful, the opaque is getting in there.
This other eye is tricky too.
It’s like, what other information do we pull out of there.
It’s the further away eye, so we don’t want to say more about it than probably the
The closer eye is probably better as more of a focal point.
I’m just going to try something.
You know what, we need to know where something is.
Those eyes look tricky to me.
I might actually just paint the nose, see if I can get it right so we can build.
I’m not in love with it yet, but we’re starting to get some paint on the page to
work with, and I just want to reestablish some of the drawing.
Maybe the drawing was never totally established, if we’re honest.
There is sort of this box of the mouth.
Okay, so that’s probably about right.
We’ve got the nose coming down.
Some of this might move a little bit.
I think what I’m going to do is go in and try to work on that near eye.
Maybe we’ll go out from there.
I say maybe because we’ll see.
I’m going to pick up a little smaller brush that’s got a little more,
it’s a little softer.
Okay, so it’s time to start getting serious.
You might notice if you’re working in dark at home, if you stroke horizontally, it might
have more glare on the brushstroke and you might not be able to see.
Sometimes when I paint dark, warm things, I try to stroke down
so that the glare isn’t so bad.
I’m not loving that brush.
Let me try another one.
I probably broke this one.
This is a little painting. That’s why I’m getting some tiny brushes out.
I’m starting to look for a little more, I’m opening my eye a little wider right now.
I’m going to see a little more information in the eye.
A lot of times we want to squint and see less, but I’m kind of at one of the paints where
I’m actually looking at what do I want to play up.
I wanted more warms so I want to go back and put it back in.
Okay, under the highlight there is a little bit of a lighter face on the upward plane.
It’s a little cooler, maybe, cooler and lighter.
I’m going to just try this a little too late.
Something like that and then highlight on top, and sometimes I’ll come back to something
later and add more, but I find if I walk away right before I think something is done.
Sometimes it actually turns out to be done later when everything is around it in context.
I would err on too little because if you do too much sometimes you lose that magic and
that freshness, and you might not need as much as you think when something is in progress,
because it’s in progress.
It doesn’t have its context.
Everything really depends on what’s around it.
I’m going to just try, I’m leaning to see the reference.
I might just put a little highlight and see.
I’m going to go probably smaller than it is in reality because sometimes if you get
them too big they just don’t look as good in a painting.
Again, photos will kind of buy anything.
Well, some of those shark ones on the internet maybe I don’t’ buy, but most of the time
if it’s in a photo you believe it.
If it’s in a painting you’ve got to kind of think a little bit more.
Some things look a little bit gimmicky if you include them.
I might just keep it like super simple like that for now.
I think I’m just going to, you know, I need to lock something down.
I’ve let myself get crazy.
It’s time to reel it back in.
I think I’m going to build out from there in probably little baby steps.
I’ll try to put a little bigger brush in the ballgame, but this is small stuff now.
I don’t even get something soft out.
Let me try this guy.
It’s that glare that I’m having a hard time seeing.
Now as I’m going I’m thinking kind of about the way the fur is flowing, so maybe
what’s on top, what’s in front, you know, kind of looking for those overlaps.
I kind of want to feel like I’m moving over the form, like I’m petting him.
So, my palette is a little bit of a disaster.
I wouldn’t say this way the smartest way to work.
But, I probably won’t clean it unless it gets really bad.
I’ve watched Joseph Todorovitch paint, and his is so well organized, and he can remix
a color at any point.
I think if you’re getting larger in scale that’s even more important.
So, I just want to mention it since I’m looking at mine and thinking, if I was in
his class, I'd feel like a big slacker.
For something like this, it’s usually a series of really small stops.
For that reason, I kind of like to go back into puddles I’ve already mixed because
I can modify things slightly, but I still kind of
have that history from the stroke before.
I think I know where this goes.
We’ll find out.
Okay, so I’m noticing this tongue is probably in the wrong spot.
It’ll probably come down.
Okay, so continuing to work from this area, I’m going to work on this area to the nose
and make sure I move that where it needs to go.
I was just thinking if you guys are used to working linearly, it’s probably pretty entertaining
to watch me paint.
I feel like you could make a drinking game out of it.
Okay, so there are some subtle variations in value here that we’ve got to be probably
be pretty careful about.
There is a little bit of light hitting right around here.
That’s a little too dark.
Trying to sneak up on it.
That’s probably a little too light, so if I can pull from here maybe and darken it.
I will do this thing with my eyes.
I don’t always squint, but I’ll kind of blur them.
I think I just kind of make them out of focus.
That will help you make decisions.
If you’re not sure if something needs to be or small, dark or light, warm or cool,
well, maybe not warm or cooler, but all the other ones, all the other big decisions, I
would kind of blur your eyes or squint.
If you’ve read Richard Smith’s Ala Prima, he’s always talking about squinting.
I feel like a lot of artists are talking about squinting.
Okay, so then I’m moving back in toward that corner and working out again.
I kind of have this coming down and this sort of jogs over.
I don’t really think this much light should be there.
So this is interesting, I almost feel like I want to get some kind of green in there
so it’s light hitting this sort of straw-orange fur color.
You’ve got to be careful with the green.
That might be too much.
Let’s try to find a good shadow color for that fur.
So, we’re going to start with a little bit of a pile.
I’m just going to lay a tile in and see how bad it looks.
I’m going to get a little more yellow in there.
That might be way too much.
Towards the tips of the fur of his nicely groomed—
I guess that’s like a mustache?
It actually gets lighter and kind of warmer towards the front and kind of stays cooler
I think this will be cool when we come back in with that light shape.
But, I’ve got to be careful that this still stays a member of this shadow family.
We don’t want anything in this shadow to be as light as when we put that light in that’s
literally in the light.
I’m going to stop there before I get carried away, because I need to put it in and see
if that looks right.
I’m going to start too saturated but thin so that I can put white over the top.
Okay, so there is kind of a plane this direction and then this direction,
maybe something like Let’s try this.
We can always go wider so I’m going to keep it—I’m going to err on too little.
It might even be too much.
I think I want to warm this up a little bit.
There is some paint already there.
If we go kind of in over it, let’s see what happens.
We probably don’t need to warm everywhere.
If I just kind of warm a little bit here in the dark and then pick up some in the light.
Actually, it’s kind of at the edge.
It’s sort of a transition.
Actually, I just kind of illuminated because it’s fur,
so the light is coming from underneath it, I think.
Kind of trans-illumination maybe?
Is that a thing?
I think that’s a thing with teeth.
Okay, so I might be getting too golden.
I might go back in and play that down later.
Then we have this little fur coming in, and then the fur kind of leaving at the other side.
I want to see if I can get away with some green, probably because green is my favorite color.
It may not be a good decision, but it might be fun.
If not, hopefully we can still recover.
That’s really green.
Okay, I needed to dumb that down.
I probably will have to clean my palette.
I just want to see what happens if I—yeah, I feel like it’s a bad idea.
It should be more probably like this.
I’m going to leave it for now, and we’ll see if we can use it later.
Okay, we’re creeping up on the nose.
Just kind of get some of those brushstrokes.
He has like really expressive eyebrows that are worth trying to lay a couple in.
You know, I probably should stop whatever this thing is that I’m doing
and get that eye going.
I’m just kind of pulling across, referencing across.
It looks like there is a little light maybe at the bottom here.
I’m just squinting.
It might be fur.
Then maybe a warm suggestion of the top.
I think it needs to curve back in a little more.
Okay, I need to put this brush down.
I’m going to get the super tiny little signature brush with like three hairs.
Kind of squinting, I’m going to just check across, check across.
Again, I would do fewer things than you think you should and then wait to see the whole
thing come together and then go back if it’s not enough.
Sorry, that was crazy.
A little too far there.
I’ve left some of it.
I just wanted to see what happened if I left a little bit.
It’s a little much, so I’m just going to take it down like that.
Okay, let’s remember which eye gets to be the star.
Let’s try not to treat them equally.
If one gets more color and light and emphasis than this one, maybe the highlight should
be even smaller.
It’s like the costar.
And it’s not facing us as much.
It’s a little further away.
I’ve got to be careful.
That might be too big.
I’m going to soften it.
Let’s see, there is like a little bit of, kind of lighter fur, and then a very, very warm,
kind of red patch here because it’s recessed behind.
Okay, that might need some more attention.
I’m going to exercise the best discipline I can and walk away for a second and move
on to something around it to see really if I want to touch that or something adjacent.
Go easy on that stuff.
Okay, do you know where the nose goes yet?
I hope so.
Amazing how it can start to look like a dog all of a sudden.
We knew we’re going to push that tongue down, so we’ll do that in a second.
Okay, I’m going to get a brush that I can carve back into a little bit.
This is a bristle because I need to move a tongue.
We need to do a relocation.
That’s one of the problems in the way of paint.
It’s not something you want to be doing if you don’t have to.
That’s another reason I’m still getting better at drawing, still studying drawing,
and the abstractions and things of these guys, which I didn’t really use today.
It’s kind of going shape to shape, but God, those abstractions are so helpful.
Bristle is not the best choice to keep going, I don’t think.
We might need to push that right eye in a little further.
Let’s see here.
I’m going to step away for just a second.
Alright, let’s try to make some good choices in the nose somewhere around here.
’m going to lean across here. Excuse me.
We need to add some variation to this light across the nose here.
And some nice blood in the nostril. I think it’s like Sargent and all those guys
that always put a lot of red in things like the ear.
I’m just going to put a little red in here.
Hey, guys, you still here? I’m just trying to make some good moves,
totally forgetting to tell you what’s happening.
But, basically, I just wanted to block that in because it seems like it would be fun and satisfying,
and also because we want to make a picture, and if you get sucked into the features
for a long, long time and forget to address that stuff, usually it bites you in the end.
It probably should have gone in earlier.
So, we’ve got something here we might be able to bring up to a finish.
It looks like we need a little more of the back of the head.
I like that there is this one little tooth in there.
It’s in shadow.
I’m getting it dirty and yellow.
Probably shouldn’t actually use this brush.
I’m probably going to darken that. I darken it to get it in the right value family.
Then I’ll go back in and like modify out of there.
I like that shape but it’s a little bit much.
It’s the kind of thing you might think is cool, but then you give it to the client and they’re like, what?
Why is there a knife coming out of his neck? Okay.
Trying to make this read as one side.
Okay, this is where it’s a little trickier for me, figuring out which information is going to explain the form.
With all these fun and different furs, I still have to try and find the form.
I’ll probably get up in the middle night and try to go fix the painting
and then I remember it’s here in the studio. I’m going to try to get this going here.
First, I’m going to have to check out the edges and try to fix these up.
I’m going to break for a second before I do anything stupid.
One thing that’s tricky about this is that I want to maintain the forest through the
trees, and it gets kind of fun trying to blend fur tones together and get the direction of
the fur, the character of the fur, but at some point it starts to lose its form and
its structure, and so you kind of have to ask yourself what does it need and try to
just answer those questions clearly and succinctly and maybe answer one at a time and step back,
one at a time and step back you start getting closer.
I’m cleaning up to give myself a break.
Hopefully, when I look back at the painting again, I will start to see more obviously
what are those sort of finishing touches.
That’s part of the issue of problem solving something with fur.
You’ll hear people describe different ways to approach hair, especially hair, and I’ve
heard it described as kind of like a ribbon and seeing it sort of like how a ribbon would
fall and the crest light or the highlight kind of like it would on satin or something
So, I get so easily seduced by all these tiny little details.
That’s always been my weakness.
Some people are much better at getting the big structure in and have a harder time with
But for me, that’s kind of been a tricky spot for me.
I think it’s important to step back from your painting and ask yourself, what does
I’ll try to articulate that and see if we can wrap it up.
Clearly the nose has some issues.
There needs to be a little more blood in the tongue.
I haven’t gotten all those edges working yet.
Give me just a second to just clean up and we’ll cruise forward.
I’m going to kind of keep these puddles as an average of that history.
Alright, so we want to see less, fix some edges.
I think I’m going to go back into this eye.
Maybe I’ll go into these features a little bit.
Okay, so I want this across there.
This got a little muddy, and I’m just kind of playing and seeing what happens here.
I thought I wanted to lose that edge and then kind of grade that down.
I just didn’t pay enough attention and it got too muddy.
I think there is more contrast in the reference than I’ve got in real life to show these
forms and plane changes.
I’m going to pick up a big brush.
I’m hoping I’m making some good choices with this, but I’m going to try to simplify
it a little bit.
I feel like I’ve got too much paint in some of these spots, so they are kind of
hard to work back into.
Let me try putting this highlight back in.
This is the back end of a brush.
Let’s try cooling this down.
Getting a little black in there.
Group this more together as one shape and then on top bring this light back in.
He’s got that little cute part running down the center.
I think I’m going to quit looking at it so literally and then just try to get it to read.
I want this to feel like it’s coming over and across.
I just want to try bringing my hand over and across it.
Maybe punch this eyebrow a little bit more.
I just want it to come forward more.
It doesn’t look that light, but I want it to come forward so I might cheat
and just try a little lighter.
So I’m squinting down and I’m trying to
see if I can, again, just kind of unify this and see less information.
They can go lighter here.
I think it’s getting a little bit better.
If you have the benefit of time on your side, and you’ve been working this whole time,
I’d stop and I might go grab foot and come back.
Just give your eyes a break.
Come back to it maybe even tomorrow.
I’m going to push this from warm to cool to try to turn it a little bit more.
Look at that wash.
Just a little turf.
That line is a little strong.
We’re getting, we’re in the ballpark.
I feel like this could go on now for days, shoring it up.
I think I’m going to go ahead and bring this up a little bit, soften that.
I’m going to do a little more in the nose area.
I’ve got a lot of paint on this surface so it’s getting hard to move it around.
Soften that a little there.
Since that side of the face is turning away from us, I might go back in and try to soften
a little here.
Let me just pull that down a little bit.
With most paintings you kind of get to some tricky puzzles that you just have to work
through, and I think I’m starting to feel better now about most of it.
When I get to that point, I start to want to be very, very careful.
Although, you know you can go and you can change things, and you can work these a really
long time, I don’t really like the look of what happens
when I overwork my paintings.
I really prefer them to look kind of fresh and sketchy.
It could be my personality.
I’m kind of a little bit messy.
I just kind of like that look.
I tend to try to finish just the things that need really, really another touch.
If I can walk way with it looking pretty good from there, most of the time I find that I
like it better if I do.
I’m going to try to just go back in here selectively kind of making sure that things
I think the nose is still a little rushed, but I’ll try to talk you guys through it.
I feel like the back of this ear might need a little more edge to it in here.
Let’s see what else.
This stroke is kind of a little sloppy.
Something about this mouth, we want to make it feel like it’s coming up and back down.
I do want that to read a little better.
This is behind this.
Punch that up a little bit.
That’s a little too symmetrical now.
Maybe I can get that to feel like it’s going back a little better.
Then you get that gold back in here, a little more gold.
I kind of want this top plane to read a little better on the nose.
Drag a little lighter color across the top maybe there.
That nostril shape is off.
How important is that.
Okay, what else?
What about something a little brighter here?
This scale is pretty small so I’m trying to just be really careful.
That just looked a little too sloppy so I’m sort of smoothing, and then maybe I can get
that cooler light on the further side of the tongue.
I want this to cut in front of that, but that’s still too hard.
I’m afraid if I go too much further, I’ll start making it worse.
Any other things that are bugging anybody?
Maybe a little bit of light.
That tongue shape got a little lost there.
Sorry, I have to do this.
I’m so sorry.
And then just cooling off this side a little more.
That’s a little black back here.
I want it to have a little more warmth.
So that mustache on top of that.
I almost, oh, I did. My shirt is still clean.
Alright, guys, I should probably start to call this one a day.
As you debate your stopping point, step back and see how the whole thing is reading.
See if there is anything that is just driving you nuts.
If you have a friend nearby you can ask, you know.
Sometimes we get sort of tunnel vision.
I’ve got to say, if you did the little Yorkie here with me, this is, I think, one of the
harder things to learn.
If you had trouble with kind of how to get the fur to go,
there is a lot of editing that’s required.
You can go back and study things like rhythm.
Look for those big, simplified shapes.
Obviously, when we’re painting a dog, you know, we don’t want to simplify it past
the point of it having its character, but I probably could have simplified it more.
I wouldn’t say that’s my strength.
That’s the kind of thing I would keep in mind going forward.
If you have a chance to try one with shorter fur, if this was really difficult for you,
get back on the horse with a dog that has shorter fur.
We think you’ll find it’s a little bit easier to manage and design.
This edge is still kind of bugging me.
Just kind of blend that.
I told you I was going to stop, didn’t I?
Alright, I swear I’m stopping.
Okay, awesome, you guys.
Thank you so much for staying with me through that.
You probably noticed that it’s a tricky puzzle to solve.
I think with painting dogs, the longer furred ones are going to be harder.
If you had trouble with that, you might want to look at references for painting ribbon.
We’re going to supply a list of links.
If you had trouble with drawing or trouble with value or any of those things, you’ll
be able to find videos that will help with that right here through the
New Masters Academy. Stay with it if it was tricky.
It can be really frustrating, I know.
That was difficult for me so I can imagine some of you guys had some tricky spots, too.
Every painting is a puzzle.
It’s supposed to be a puzzle.
Don’t worry if it seems hard.
It’s always going to seem hard.
We just get better at it.
If you did have trouble with long fur, you might want to try a short-haired animal for
your next one.
Just remember to keep your camera ready.
Keep your phone on if you have a camera when you get home because you’re always going
to want to try to keep getting better dog photos.
Once you start there is just never enough.
Thank you so much, you guys.
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Watch the whole lesson with a subscription
16m 7s2. Taking Good Reference Photo, and Using a Grid to Plan Your Painting
34m 43s3. Materials, Getting Started
51m 15s4. Adjusting the Lay-in
38m 48s5. Re-Establishing the Drawing, Detailing the Eyes
41m 33s6. Detailing the Tongue, Adding the Scarf, and Making Stylistic Choices
41m 26s7. Stay the Course: "Don't mistake the forest for the trees"
18m 49s8. Finishing Touches