Welcome to my pet and family portrait blog. If you have commissioned a portrait you can see how it is progressing. If you would like to commission me to paint your pet, family or friend then visit my site at www.katetugwellportraits.com
Fancy learning how to draw and paint? See my art classes website at www.katesartclasses.com

Saturday, 16 June 2012

British Bulldogs Portrait

While the Union Jacks are still flying in the wake of  the Jubilee celebrations, here's another British connection with this family of British Bulldogs. Commissioned for Father's Day on 18 x 24" canvas board and painted in acrylics with a terracotta background, I had a number of photographs of each dog to work from. I started by sketching the dogs in a pleasing composition with the favourite at the front (shh! don't tell the others!). I wanted to get them all sitting on the cushion but also needed to keep the background and their bodies vague and uncluttered to draw the focus to each of the dogs' faces. I painted white texture paste to establish the direction of the fur on each of the dogs which took a surprising amount of time as this breed has many folds of skin. Then I concentrated on painting the main features in the right places. I worked on all four dogs at the same time to give the portrait cohesion. The temptation was to work on each dog individually but as the photos differed in clarity and colour I decided to unite the colours and moved from one dog to the next with my paintbrush loaded with the same colours. I forgot to take photos in this stage so there's a bit leap from white to lots of colour, but from there you see the gradual build up of paint creating texture and depth. I hope I've managed to capture them as individuals as well as a group.

Friday, 8 June 2012

A Cat Called Marnie

This is Marnie, a rather regal looking ma'am who looks like she rules the roost. Her 'staff*' asked for a portrait to be painted and it's quite fitting I've finished her in the week of the Jubilee celebrations. The desired cerise/red background was painted first onto a 6x12" canvas panel before I sketched her in and added texture paste in the direction of her fur. After that had dried I blocked in the main areas of her black and white markings and continued to build up the layers of paint with a stiff hog hair brush, adding brown and blue as well as black into the dark areas of her coat. I paid special attention to her eyes which were tricky to judge as the flash had distorted the colour in most of the photos, but the green contrasts brilliantly with the background complementary colour. Finally I set about adding shine and the tiny details of her whiskers and stray white hairs with a fan brush and a fine rigger. * Great saying: 'Dogs have owners, cats have staff!'