I begin the portrait with a loose charcoal outline of the animal. I then start to add in some of the darker shades within the fur. I always like to get a good rendering of the eyes at the beginning of the portrait as they are a good base to work from. I continue painting in some of the darker areas, or shadows within the fur, and begin adding lighter layers to add dimension to the portrait. At this point I also add some highlights to the eyes and nose. Next, I usually paint in the background colour, knowing that it may be adjusted at a later time depending on what best compliments the animal’s colouring.
I add the finishing touches and details such as the pure white highlights in the eyes, on the nose, and in the fur, and also paint some individual pieces of fur and whiskers. I also decide on the final colour of the background. Et voila! The portrait is complete and ready to go to it’s new home!