So my second dachshund portrait is going to be in my bright watercolour style, but on a large canvas measuring 30×30 inches. When I do larger watercolour portraits like this I like to do a mini piece first to map out roughly where the colours are going to go. Watercolours do have a mind of there own so I can’t do an exact replica, but it is useful to make sure I am happy how the colours I choose work together an give me a reference to work from.

The canvas needs to be prepped with a watercolour ground as you can’t paint direct onto canvas. This normally takes 3 coats I find. They need to dry in between and then normally I can start painting on it. I can explain a bit more about it tomorrow as I am going to prep the canvas in between working on Bubba’s portrait

I sent over the mini painting to my client today and I have the go ahead to put it on to the canvas, I think it will probably be started Friday all being well. Here is the mini portrait of Badger.

Badger, mini portrait

Today I started prepping the large canvas today. I use a medium called Daniel Smith watercolour ground. It comes in black and buff too, but I use white. I am not sure how you would use watercolours over the black version. Acrylics maybe but you could just use a gesso. Anyway so far I have put 3 coats on today. Tomorrow I will put another one or two on depending on the coverage I have for so far. I have to then let it dry out for 24 hours and I can sketch out Badgers portrait larger than life size!

I am going to get my daughter to take some photos hopefully as I work.

I went one better than getting photos I managed to get a time lapse. Unfortunately I failed to check the camera and it ran out so the last hour is missed off! However for my first time filming a watercolour pet portrait I am pretty pleased with the results.

Below you can watch almost 8 hours of me crawling around on the kitchen floor to create Badgers portrait condensed into 60 seconds of film. Enjoy

Sorry for anyone that was waiting for the upload of the video, I couldn’t work it out last night, I think wordpress keeps changing how things get uploaded and I can’t keep track of it all. Anyway I think I have found a way by embedding it off facebook. Hopefully I will find a better way soon! I hope you enjoy it.

The weather has been lovely today and I hope it will be the same tomorrow as I can get varnishing. I can’t do it in the rain otherwise the portrait will run off my canvas before my eyes and I can’t do it inside, depsite using a water base varnish, which smells a darn sight better than most, it’s still too strong to do inside.

The varnishing of these large canvas pet portraits is important for a few good reasons. Sometimes dpending on the thickness of the paint, sometime it can be shiny in places, this brings it all to a uniform sheen. I choose matt varnish as I don’t like gloss, but it’s personal choice. It gives the paint UV protection, fading from the sun and thirdly, protects from any light moisture that it may come in contact with. I still don’t recommend taking a soaking wet cloth to it, but it will protect against moisture we get in the house etc.

So there you go, Badger will be finished, oh and I’d better to remember to sign him!

I varnished Badgers portrait today. The weather was glorious, felt spring like even. Snow drops are popping up everywhere so it was perfect varnishing day! Outside in the sunshine. Once dry I strung the portrait and hung it on my wall. I am actually really pleased with how it looks, it is definitely one of those paintings that works better at a distance. I am so please I think I may have to do one of my two rascals. I have never been fussed about painting my own pets, but I think I might do it in this style for my living room.

Anyway here is Badgers pet portrait hanging on my wall. He is down again now, ready for delivery to my client.

What do you think?

It doesn’t really give a good sense of the scale. I will have to maybe take another tomorrow and put something next to it. Certainly Badger will be larger than life!