Sequoia the rough underpaintingSequoia is a delightful labradoodle I’ve been asked to paint.

My portrait is starting out well. Usually we go through a seriously ugly stage at the beginning but Sequoia is such a cutie, even his underpainting is looking better than usual.

I’m roughing in the overall tones, and using brushstrokes to define the overall shapes. For all that he’s basically a black dog, he has quite a lot of warmth in his fur so my underpainting is pinkish to set that in motion.

Painting pets means lots and lots of furry details. I frequently work small–and the only way to achieve the look I want–is to work with progressively smaller and smaller brushes. Which of course, is why a painting can take quite a lot of time to get right.