Nick the pirate dog

The latest of my pet portrait commissions is Nick.  I was asked to dress him as a pirate and had fun in my studio designing clothing to suit the little dog.  Whenever preparing a new commission, I always start with the background.  It helps having that first layer of paint for the other colors to build upon.  I began by making a sketch from the photo, and adjusted the scale to leave enough room for the costume.  After drawing a few possible outfits, each was overlaid in tracing paper to find the best fit.  I like to work with my drawings on tracing paper, because the pieces can be moved around to see how it all works together.  The little parrot was added as a finishing touch, to push the pirate look, balance the composition and create contrast.  The sketch was then transferred to the cradleboard (5" x 5" x 3/4") using carbon paper.  After the underpainting, details were added to finish the portrait.


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