From Sketch to Rough Paint

Working with a largish bristle brush, I’ve roughed in a first layer of acrylic paint for my three little Havanese painting. I usually keep the paint fairly diluted at this stage so my paintings look quite a bit like watercolors. From there I’ll build up the color and detail with the paint getting progressively thicker which helps to give a feeling of solidity to the art.

I find it quite a relief when at the first pass, I already see a clear resemblance to my subjects. I find that most of the paintings I do that I feel are successful start this way. If I don’t catch a resemblance at the beginning–it usually means it will be a much harder process during the painting.

I work by placing the darkest tone of a color down first–then laying lighter tones on top of that. So in a rough stage painting like this one, you won’t find any pure white which makes it look a little dingy. The lightest color here is a warm grey that will act as a shadow tone for the white areas of fur.