Meet Brenda, a sassy little girl who just happens to belong to my niece. This is the first stage of painting for a 18″ x 18″ oil portrait that is a long delayed birthday gift. I started this Shiba Inu portrait by creating a pencil sketch which I transfered to my gessoed panel–then brushed a transparent wash of raw umber acrylic over the panel to tint it. After that, I started working in oil paint to rough in a first layer, always keeping my colors a bit darker so I could progressively layer lighter strokes on top. Brenda was photographed with a turquoise collar–but her signature color is pink–so I converted the color of the collar and shortened the front end to be less intrusive. As I wanted Brenda to be the star of her painting, I simplified the background to a low key neutral color and slightly rough finish.