|Watercolor Dog Portrait Step-by-Step Tutorial|
This tutorial will show you in simple steps how to achieve a great looking dog portrait.
The first glaze will give roughly the prevailing colors in the fur.
As you paint in watercolor without adding white gouache, you have to search for the most intense light in the reference photo and always think to preserve it in the painting. The first brush stroke in the eyes will be for this white sparkle in the middle. Use a very light glaze of cobalt blue. So light, that you don't see the pigments when it is done. Nevertheless, it is really necessary.
Now the first glaze is dry, using a very dark mix of pigments based on indigo, I paint the edge of the sparkle in the eye and what is pehaps the heart of the pupil.
A few steps further, details of the same eye. As you may see, instead of adding a glaze on the iris to get closer to its brown red color, keep the transparency of the thin original ochre layer and add red-brown streaks. They give at the same time more volume to the eye.
The lower eyelid was not painted in one horizontal brush stroke, but with small vertical strokes to give matter and volume. On the upper eyelid, you see three basic colors : blue, yellow and magenta.
On the eyebrow but also on the top of the head, paint the wooly fur with “tremolo” brush strokes. Even if painting stronger glazes over it, your eyes will see it and feel the impression of wool.
On the final image, the basic colors are still there, as strong as at the beginning: The magenta and indigo mixed in a deep violet blue sing beside their opposite colour ochre.
The nose of the dog will allow the painter to give light, life and brio to his portrait. So take your time to succeed it. Underneath, a blow-up of the first glazes. The above of the nose has been painted wet on wet, with a light cobalt shade and a darker mix on the right side, where you can see a few magenta and ochre pigments. With a large brush suck part of the cobalt pigments to give more light on the top.
As the fur was getting more color and contrast around the nose, dare to give more value to the nose. Dampen again all the top of the nose and part of the fur around it, before to add a mix of cobalt and magenta, wet on wet , without laying any pigment on the light. The hole of the nostril is painted with indigo, magenta and ochre, wet on wet first. Then dry on dry. The darker the shadows, the brighter the light.
This detail shows the fine work on the dog moustache. Once more you can see brush strokes of pure colors, whose shades are changing by superposition.