The Easy Way for You to Paint Your Pets
The Pop Art Painting
For this, you need a high contrast black and white print of your pet. I opened a photo editing software and simply adjusted the contrast and printed out on white copy paper.
Next, with a black marker- go over the dark lines of the dog.
Now using graphite paper or by coloring the backside of the copy with a pencil (old fashioned way), trace the image on either canvas, canvas paper, or watercolor paper.
Paint the face of the dog with a bright Acrylic paint color. Folk Art has some great neon colors! I chose yellow, but bright green, orange, pink, lavender, light blue all would work well too. Remember you are painting the penciled in lines black, so the face must be in contrast (lighter) with the black.
I have a fine line and a medium size brush for the black lines.
Don't forget to leave little white dots in the eyes!
Now paint in the background! This should be in contrast with the face also. Think of sports teams, their colors are often complementary colors... Yellow and Purple, Orange and Blue, Red and Green (ok, that's Christmas) .... I painted the face yellow so a purple background would have worked perfectly, BUT I work at LSU and I am having a little bit of purple and gold (yellow) overload, so I moved one color over in the color wheel and chose blue as my background. Check out a color wheel for more ideas.
Tada, pretty easy!!!
Realistic Pet Painting
For this painting you need a gray scale, high contrast print on copy paper, acrylic paint (2 shades of brown, black, white, blue, green), watercolor paper, canvas or canvas paper and Gel Medium. It is good to have two copies so you can refer back to one as you are painting. Folk Art also has a nice set of beginner paints.
Glue your copy to your canvas paper (or surface you have chosen) using Gel Medium. I also paint a coat of gel medium over the top of the paper. Let dry.
Seriously, these are the colors I used....Black, White, Burnt Umber, Raw Siena, and Cobalt Blue
With your light brown (matched to the color of your pet), do a wash over the surface. It may not sit very well on the surface. I also used a makeup sponge to make a lighter wash on the body.
I went back over the face to make it a little smoother. Don't paint over the eyes! Make sure you can still see some of the shading beneath the paint. We need that as a guide.
Using the darker brown paint in some of the shaded areas. The face is starting to take shape.
Mix some white with the light brown and paint around the eyes.
Add your cream accents in other places.
Now add some black.
Add the black to the nostrils and then mix some burnt umber to paint in the rest of the nose. Yes, I know a dog's nose is black but the inside of the nostrils is even darker! So...to make the nostrils pop, the nose has to be a little lighter. It's better to lighten them up with a mix of brown and black than adding white to the black and making a gray.
Paint with the cream color you have mixed the highlights in the dog nose
Paint the dog's lips dark brown and then add black accents to the bottom of the face and lip area.
I then painted with solid black some areas around the ear and eye. The dark underside of the ear I painted with the brown/black mix. I also painted the dog's eyes blue. They aren't blue in real life but look how beautiful!
Now to paint in the rest of the body. I wanted it slightly out of focus so I used a bigger brush and a few light coats of paint. The focus is the face!
Last but not least the background. The photo is a fuzzy out of focus background of leaves. If your background is very detailed I suggest adopting this style too. I just used one color of green and mixed in the two browns. Avoid mixing in the black. I know you will be tempted but it will muddy up your green. I used just a hint of white. I like it rough and painterly!
Good luck and let me know what you paint!!!
Until next time,