I was asked to create this pet portrait as an anniversary gift for the owners of this beautiful Golden Retriever Nikki. My customer asked for a small piece that could be hung or displayed on a stand. We decided on an 8x8"image in colored pencil that would be mounted on Ampersand Clayboard 3/4" cradled panel to be unframed and varnished.
I chose to work on Fabriano Tiziano paper, the color is Felt Gray. This is one of my favorite papers for pet portraits. I like the textured and flecked background so I will let the paper show through as the background behind Nikki.
My first step is to layout the drawing and put in the outlines in graphite pencil. I don't have to add a lot of detail to my initial line drawing but I want to be sure I have important features such as the eyes, nose and mouth in the proper positions. Using a sgraffito tool (has a blunt pointy end that will impress lines into the paper) I have impressed lines into the paper where the whiskers and some of the hairs will be. That way I can add color over the area and the whiskers will remain the color of the paper.
I did receive feedback from the owners and they love the piece. It's small enough to fit in a small space on the wall and enjoyed every day!