I started my painting of Thai believing he was far whiter than he really was. Upon viewing the first photo of my earlier stage, the client told me that, in fact, Thai tended to be more apricot in his fur with some gray on his ears. The client photos that I work from can often be misleading as to coat color–lighting can totally change the way color looks. And subtle colors like cream, apricot or gray shift the most. This is the main reason I like to send progress photos to clients. It’s a whole lot easier altering color early in the painting.
When it comes to coat colors like cream and apricot–I usually lay down a warm tint as an undercoat–and then add brushstrokes that get progressively whiter on top. This creates a very subtle feeling in the color–and is more the way hair actually works.