The portrait of a black Bouvier is just about complete. Today, we’ll put the finishing touches on it.
If you’ve missed any of the previous installments or if you would like a review, here are the links.
- How to Draw a Dog with Colored Pencil, Part 1
- How to Draw a Dog with Colored Pencil, Part 2
- How to Draw a Dog with Colored Pencil, Part 3
- How to Draw a Dog with Colored Pencil, Part 4
Now on to this week’s installment.
Step 8: Finishing Layers
The first thing I did was wash generous amounts of rubbing alcohol over all of the dog except the ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. As before, I wanted to fill in some of the paper holes. But it was also important to break down some of the wax that had accumulated on the drawing before trying to add more color.
Once the paper was dry, it was time to finish the portrait. I used a lot of colors, so I’m listing color by area worked on.
I started with light peach applied with light pressure over all of the tongue. I followed up with flesh over everything but the brightest highlights, then blush over everything but the brightest highlights and middle values, and burnt ochre in the darker middle values and shadows. In other words, as I used darker colors, I worked on smaller and smaller parts of the tongue. In this way, the highlights were drawn by adding darker colors around them.
Then I applied a second layer of each color. I used the points of well-sharpened pencils with small, tight strokes and light pressure to get saturated color.
Next I glazed everything with carmine red and darkened the shadows with dark umber. After that, I adjusted color and value until it looked correct and burnished with the colorless blender.
Darkened the pupils and rims with black. Added blue slate around the highlights, then burnished with white.
Also highlighted the lower rims with blue slate and white using firm strokes and heavy pressure.
I glazed bronze into the inside of each ear with light pressure followed by blush and light peach with medium pressure. The backs and rims of the ears were done with black and medium pressure.
I glazed blue slate over most of the nose, then glazed black over the front part. I applied blue slate then white to the highlights around the nostrils then burnished the front of the nose with the colorless blender and reapplied color.
Then I dr3w the sides and the top of the nose using the same colors, but using the lighter colors more than the dark colors.
I needed to tone down the blue highlights in the lighter areas of the body and face, so I tried a glaze of bronze. The warm tones of bronze—which is an earth tone—made the blues less bold and added warmth to the hair.
Next, I added black, which I applied with the side of a well-sharpened pencil. I used firm strokes with medium or medium-light pressure—very light pressure over the highlights and heavier pressure in the shadows.
In each area, I stroked in the direction of hair growth.
To finish the portrait, I used dark umber and ultramarine to lay down a cast shadow to the dog’s left, then signed it, photographed it and sent a digital proof to the clients.
The clients approved the drawing but asked me to make the ears a little more scruffy. Stroking outward from each ear using tiny strokes and light pressure was the best and easiest way to make that correction.
I made those changes and the portrait was complete. It was delivered the following day and is now framed and hanging side-by-side with a portrait of another of the family’s canine companions.