The sketched watercolor portrait of dog of the subject is carefully established with pencil. Linear, smooth continuous lines were used for the more defined areas such as the collar and name tag, while broken jagged lines were applied for textured surfaces like the hair. The tonal details of the coat were hatched and stippled with fine brushstrokes to heighten the detail of tone and texture, while taking care to keep these dark pencil lines from muddying the transparent washes of color that will be painted over them later.
The Subtle Beauty of Watercolor
At this stage a thin transparent wash of earthy brown was loosely applied over the stippled tones of the dog’s coat. This starts to transform the dark green into more natural shades of brown.
With a good reference photo, it’s quite possible to paint vibrant, colorful portraits of black dogs and other animals. Just take the time to be sensitive to the many hues influencing the surface of the fur, such as violet, purple and ochre tones that can be seen on this dog’s coat in the photo to the left.