Painting a dog portrait is an exercise in rendering the expressiveness and beauty of man’s best friend. From their soft fur to the soulful expression in their eyes, these critters are a painter’s perfect subject! But capturing these features in watercolor can seem like an expert-level skill to master. In this article, you’ll learn how to make a beautiful hand-painted watercolor portrait of dog of your pet in just a few easy steps.
What do dogs in paintings commonly symbolize?
Before applying any color, start by sketching your subject with a pencil on your piece of watercolor paper. This can be done freehand or using a transfer paper which speeds up the drawing process and ensures accuracy.
Next, use a minimal amount of water to wet the sketch and begin adding your first washes of color. Remember that when painting with watercolor, it is always better to work from light to dark. So choose your lightest colors (like yellow ochre and burnt sienna) and dilute them with enough water to create the desired shades.
When applying these washes of color, it is important to remember that the hatched lines you draw to suggest tone and texture must always follow the direction of hair growth. This will give your animal’s coat a more realistic appearance.
When the initial washes of color are dry, add a few light details to the face. For example, define the whiskers through touch-ups. You can also use a fine detail brush to apply a white wash over the entire face and lightly smudge the edges to create highlights.