Sketch of Kirby the havanese by Hope LaneAfter painting pets for other people, I’m finally painting my own dog Kirby, who is a Havanese. For me, it’s a lot harder to paint people and pets, I actually know and love. But as Kirby’s getting older, I want to paint him now. I paint a lot of portraits for people who have already said goodbye to their pets, and it allows them to have a very special keepsake.

This is the very first stage, I’ve done a sketch composed from several photos, and transferred it to a panel I’ve prepared with a warm dark grey background. You won’t see this color in the end, but it’s the darkest color in Kirby’s fur and a good starting point.