Illustrating Rosie the English Springer Spaniel

Time to get started on a promised portrait of a beautiful English Springer Spaniel called Rosie. It will be drawn in coloured pencils, and although I mix my brands, I love the variety and density of Derwent (both water soluble and Artists coloured pencils) and Faber Castell (Polychromos) pencils.
The quality of any picture is founded in the quality of the drawing. The accuracy of the sketch will ensure that the final portrait will look in proportion and realistic, and will give you the best opportunity of your end result looking like your subject!
Being right-handed, I tend to draw from left to right. Wherever you start, it’s a good idea to place a piece of paper under your hand avoid leaving smudges or greasy hand prints!

This image shows the portrait right at the beginning, layering in the collar and neck, which lies underneath the ear.

Work in Progress of Rosie's Portrait
Work in Progress of Rosie’s Portrait

The next stage saw me working down the neck, and then drawing in the under layers of the ear, which is incredibly hard on a Spaniel! It’s so important to use the full range of tones along with your layers to achieve a realistic and 3-dimensional effect.

This next image show the black areas complete. The eye has been drawn in using a range of browns and sepias, and the highlights have been added using colour removal and a white coloured pencil over the black.

This last image shows the finished portrait, with the two-coloured muzzle and nose filled in careful, to ensure that the texture of her fur looks convincing and realistic. The best advice I can give when drawing dogs is to ensure that you get the direction of the fur correct, and use every opportunity you get to observe dogs closely.

Pet Portrait of Rosie
Pet Portrait of Rosie

Rosie was commissioned to complete a collection, with her owner already having one portrait. Missy, another English Springer Spaniel, is already hanging proudly on the owners wall.

Pet Portrait of Missy
Pet Portrait of Missy