I started with a sketch in a 6h pencil, then used a phthalo blue pencil for the background, blending with odorless mineral spirits.
For Tyler's eye, I used shades of burnt sienna, van dyke brown, bistre, warm gray layered over that, and black, as well as light ultramarine, and helio blue for the shine in her pupil. For the rim around her eye, I layered helio blue and paynes gray, alternating between the two colors regularly.
For the brown parts of her fur, I've decided to layer raw umber and burnt sienna. I've been blocking off small areas with masking fluid and filling them in with pale gray to create fur texture.
For Tyler's ear, I used different shades of brown, including sepia, van dyke, which I layered over with black and burnt umber, raw umber, and burnt sienna.
I'm making curved vertical lines over my base colors to suggest the wrinkles in her skin.
I used van dyke brown for her collar, making a zigzag pattern in part of it to show that her fur was overlapping there. I layered black over where there was a shadow. For the buckle, I used three different shades of gray, being careful to leave the white of the paper to create shine.
I'm making long curved strokes with my pencils to suggest the shagginess of her fur in this particular area.
I put a layer of blue down on her snout, then went over it with cold gray V and dark sepia, covering most of the blue. I intensified the holes of her whiskers with paynes gray.
I've added even more depth to her wrinkles by darkening the color in between them.
Today, I finished Tyler's right foreleg and started on her back. I used cold gray V, raw umber, burnt sienna, and van dyke brown. I started with the gray, and, after laying down all the other colors, went back to the gray and filled in the area until the background was almost covered.
Using the side of a warm gray 5 pencil, I made lines, curving down going from right to left. I added raw umber and burnt sienna, keeping my pencil strokes going in the same direction.
Right now I'm focusing on making shapes, rather than lines.
Here's "Tyler The Dog" pretty much done. I've added a bit more burnt sienna to the shaggier part of her coat and filled in more warm gray 5. I also used my Derwent Chinese white to lighten some areas. I used cold gray 5 along the top of Tyler's back to adjust the shape of her body.
Finished! This is another example of the importance of judging a piece independently of the reference photo. There seemed to be hard lines in her fur on the photo, but in my drawing those were making her fur look too wiry, so I softened them.
Painter of portraits and wildlife