OK, we’re ready to start our painting, and since I must achieve a dead-on likeness of the subject, I chose to begin with the drawing of Sugar’s head (Photo 1).
I wanted to make sure I captured a perfect semblance of her before I invested several more hours of additional drawing. If I don’t peg a likeness in the head and eye, I see no use in continuing the process.
In Photo 2, I used some Burnt Umber and Ultramarine Blue to establish the darks around the eye, and darks in the nostril. I also laid in some preliminary washes in the nose and ears.
At this point, I’m going slow and being very careful. A snap color decision here can ruin my early efforts, so I’m evaluating my color choices with care.
Photo 3 shows the collar blocked in with its first wash, and at this point I felt comfortable enough to continue on with completing my drawing. I used a soft B pencil and very quickly indicated some of the form in the muscle groups. With long-haired animals, the muscle groups don’t show up so well.
To define my subject, I must depend on edge changes in my photo and look for the subtle value changes that will make up my portrait.
With the drawing completed, we’ll start on washes tomorrow.