So Ozzy is the second portrait of 2019. TJ, was actually started towards the end of 2018, but finished today. A gorgeous grey horse. Both are second portraits for my clients.

Ozzy is a stunning labradoodle with lots of tight curly fur! It’s going to be fun to do all those lovely curls. I can get really caught up in the detail. As I mentioned it is the second portrait for my client. I painted Monty towards the end of last year. My client has supplied lovely reference photos for both dog portraits, which is really important and helps me produce the best portrait possible.

Ozzy, reference photo.

I am already looking at all the gorgeous colours I am going to use to paint his fur. I see purples, browns, blues, lilacs, reddish browns, magenta and of course greys and black. I think I will try and give a full list of the pastel pencils I am using to create his portrait, so you can see how many colours truly go into a black animals painting. And just look at his beard! Oh I can’ wait to start him!

Here is the sketch already to go. I decided to use a grey background for this portrait. I think it is the best base colour for black dogs. Although I could use the brown if needed. It does slightly affect the colours the colour paper you choose. Probably barely noticeable unless you are looking at it, and it only tends to be the first layer, so it’s not a problem.

Slowly but surely plodded along with Ozzy’s portrait today. It’s been a bit of a stop start day as I have had homework with the kids to do and dogs to walks, along with domestic chores. Never a rest day when you work for yourself or have kids! Not that I would have it any other way.

It is a slow job anyway mapping out all the curls. I try to look at the negative space, or pick out shapes between the curls and try and get those established first. When I have some of those in I can start building up some of the detail.

I use a base colour before I even use black, either an indigo or dioxazine purple. Then the black on top for the areas that or if it is lighter areas showing. I will gradually repeat this all over the portrait. Building up the as go. Then the plan is to bring it all together at the end. By this I mean just making sure there colours are were the should be, highlights and shadows are correct and any blending of areas that need it.

As I said in my blog about Meg, I am swapping between the two portraits, as they both are using very similar colours this is quite easy to do without having to think about it too hard, say like I would with a golden retriever to a black dog. I have made a little more progress but the curls take a lot of concentration, so the swapping helps too as it really is a focused job. Hopefully you can see how I am building up the layers and Ozzy is really beginning to come alive now!

More progress has been done on Ozzy today. I think I am finally getting the hang of all the curls! It certainly has been a fun challenge! I love a good challenge. I need to finish his body off and then it will be a case of refining all the final details and bringing it all together. Oh and the background. Just waiting for my client to decide. Its between a cool blue/grey or green.

Here you can see how much progress I have made today. It’s really made my eyes tired all that concentrating! I think I might see curls in my dreams tonight!

I think I have Ozzy’s portrait pretty much cracked today. I think part of the reason it was slow to get off the ground was I had other bits to do, sketching out new commissions, catching up on emails, ordering stock and packing up TJ the horse portrait. Today there was non of that, I could sit and paint. Well apart from sorting the kids out, but my daughter has been out most of the day and my son had a friend round so I could really focus.

Here is the portrait as it stands now. I added the blue background my client requested and have added most of the fine curls and details. Now it is just a case of letting the eyes settle and looking again tomorrow. The final scan always helps pick out mistakes or things that don’t look quite right. I am hoping to get it scanned tomorrow, but my memory stick has been lent out by my ‘helpful’ husband, so I ordered another on his amazon account. Got to love prime, it will be here tomorrow. Hopefully not too late! If not the scan can wait until Monday when I get back from Nordic Walking, if my injury allows. Still twinging quite a bit.

I did take a photo of the finished portrait, but the colours are most are definitely not right. They are much richer in the flesh and have much more purple an blues to them. At least it gives you an idea!

So here you go anyone who was waiting to see the finished portrait of Ozzy. As you can see the scan is so much better than the phone photograph. To be honest looking back at it I can’t believe I managed all those crazy curls hahaha. It makes my eyes go funny looking and thinking about them.

I am really proud of this dog portrait and I can’t wait to see him framed. I am just waiting to hear about the frame choice. I am secretly hoping they choose the same one they had for Monty as it’s a lovely frame and would suit Ozzy perfectly.

Anyway we shall see what they decide and once his portrait is framed I will post a photo of the finished portrait.

For now here is Ozzy.

Ozzy. 14×12 inch dog portrait