Yellow Lab Painting Early Stages

After laying down an undercoat of raw sienna to give an overall sunset golden tone to the painting, I started by roughing in everything with a big brush. Then (because I really like to get the eyes in first), I started to add detail to Tara’s face in subsequent passes of paint with a smaller brush. You can see how I’m trying to “build” her body visually by creating the shapes of the muscles and giving the volume. I’ve also implied roughly the direction of the fur patterns and the way it grows. You can’t create realistic looking animals without understanding what goes on under all that fur.