I love it when I get a new breed to paint. As in a new to me. I haven’t painted an Akita portrait so I am delighted to get this commission.

As you can see King is a very handsome fellow with a gorgeous thick coat I want to capture. The sort you dig your hands right into. Unlike my wire haired chap, Luke and Maggie doesn’t have much being a chorkie. Well some do, but not thick like this.

I have sketched him out and made a good start on his face. I working from a few reference photos as the main one my client wanted me to base his portrait on is a little out of focus. Because I have lots more this isn’t a problem.

He has a lively creams and warm greys running through his coat. I haven’t worked on this colour paper before. I think ordered it by mistake so it does make a difference to how the colours appear, I actually think it has worked in my favour as it is making my warm greys warmer almost stone in colour. Perfect for parts of his coat.

Here is today’s progress on Kings portrait

Made some more progress on King’s portrait today. I noticed looking at his fur he has an undercoat that is a different colour and that needs to be picked up. I may do some Google searches as I don’t know much about this stunning breed and I like to know my subjects. I feel the portrait is starting to take some shape now and the structure is beginning to show through so he looks more 3D.

Interestingly the paper is not only a different colour but I noticed it is a different texture to the normal pastelmat colours I use. It must be something in the manufacturing process. So that is making it a little slower as when it is a different texture believe it or not the pastel goes down slightly differently.

I am out all day on a course tomorrow, if the snow permits. Typical when I actually have to be somewhere, so I will return to this handsome boys pet portrait on Thursday when I hope to get a good session done. I would like to have him finished by the end of the weekend. I think I am havi g him sitting on grass but will double check with my client Thursday.

Here is today’s progress.

Well it has been back to the pet portraits today. My son was off ill so I had to cancel coffee out with a friend. Why I say coffee I don’t know, we are both tea drinkers hahaha.

I have made some good progress on King. His colouring really has been tricky but also a lot of fun to get right. The main reference for his pet portrait wasn’t the best but I had many others to to help me. In each one his colouring varies so I have aimed for something in between. This will make any amendments that are needed at the end easier to do.

As you can see he is now very much coming to life and I think when he is placed on some grass it will really set off his portrait. So handsome he is.

Here are the photos from the recent sessions on his pet portrait today mainly and a brief one yesterday.

And I have also taken a close up of his beautiful face.. I can’t wait to get him scanned in as these photos simply do not do him justice.

I had a great session on King’s portrait today. I have added the grass round him and then tidied up the edges of his fur where it meets the grass background. This is to make sure he looks like is in front of the grass behind him and then add the blades of grass over his paws and where his body and tail is lying on the grass the ensure he is looks like he is laying on it, not floating above it or look disconnected. You really have to make sure you do this as it can make the pet look like it’s not meant to be part of the background or the other way round.

Tomorrow it will be finishing off his name tag and and any final details to really bring the piece together and then it’s time to scan. My client is already happy with the progress I showed yesterday so when she sees the final scan hopefully she will be even more pleased.

I must admit I am delighted with how he as come together and when he is framed it will look amazing. I hope, but really it’s not down to what I think, it is my clients opinion that really matters!

After I have finished King, I need to prep a huge canvas for a doxie portrait and I also have a westie, Jack Russell, Greyhound and oh I actually can’t remember! Lots of pet portraits lined up and hopefully some really interesting blog posts for you to read.

Today went really well work wise. I managed to finish King’s portrait and my client was really happy, she did however want me to add some dandelions to the grass to see how they would look. The beauty of pastels is they are so easy to add to and take away from I find. Much more so than watercolours.

I added them and I actually quite liked the fact they broke up green of the background, although both looked good.

King’s portrait with Dandelions added

I showed my client and she decided that she preferred them without as she felt the detracted from King and therefor wasn’t the main focus of the portrait. So I removed them and you can see the final scan below.

I have to say he was a tricky one to fit in my scanner at 14×18 inches! I had to do it in four sections. Thank goodness for Microsoft Ice. A fantastic program for stitching images together.

Here is King. 14×18 Akita Pet Portrait.