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  • Dog Portrait : Taysia Blue WIP #3


    dog portrait in progress Taysia Blue by Leanne Wildermuth

    I finished Taysia’s underpainting today. This is the scary part, for those of you who might be seeing one of my underpaintings for the first time. These are the darkest darks, the colors that I see in the shadows of Taysia’s photo.

    My palette is the same as always – I think that gives my work consistency and makes each piece recognizably mine. If you’re looking for a natural earthy palette, try these colors: titanium white, yellow ochre, naples yellow light, magenta, french ultramarine, sap green, indigo and raw umber. I sometimes add and subtract just depending on the coat or eye color of the animal – but for the most part, that is my palette!

    The indigo always extends the dry time – even with a medium to help dry faster, indigo is the slowest to dry. Since there is so much in her coat, it may take a couple of days for this underpainting to dry before I can proceed.

    The next session will be the last – I will work the painting to completion and share the photo when she’s complete!

    Dog Portrait : Taysia Blue WIP #2


    Taysia Blue Husky dog portrait by Leanne Wildermuth

    I’ve worked in Taysia Blue’s background color – which is a gradated combination of yellow ochre, burnt sienna and burnt umber. The photo makes it appear a little darker than it is – it’s a beautiful warm amber color. I pulled the ochre and burnt umber into the mix because I’ll use those in one of her bi-colored eyes (one blue eye, one brown) and it’ll make her eyes pop.

    Taysia reminds me of a Husky named Sam that I met when I was a kid. Sam belonged to one of my childhood friends, she was so beautiful and I was so captivated by her – I swore that one day I would have a Husky of my own. I’ve learned quite a bit about the breed since then though, and know that they really require a special environment for their well being – so I will continue adoring the breed through art and photos!

    I have to say – my client has been spot on in background color suggestions so I’m excited to see all of her portraits together on a wall with just vivid jewel toned backgrounds. It’s going to be lovely!

    Dog Portrait : Taysia Blue WIP #1


    dog portrait canvas sketch by Leanne Wildermuth

    I’ll be working on an oil dog portrait this week of Taysia Blue, a beautiful Siberian Husky (black & white) with bi-colored eyes. Taysia’s family portraits include Elsie, Badger, Jambalaya and Kona.

    I’ll post another progress shot when I get the background painted in, if all goes well – that will happen either late today or tomorrow morning.

    Lola : Silver Lab Portrait Complete


    Lola silver lab puppy dog portrait painting by Leanne Wildermuth

    I completed Lola’s portrait very late yesterday, and without the natural sunlight I opted to wait until today to publish it here for you to see. Just a few colors on my palette for this painting; white, indigo, olive, raw umber, magenta, french ultramarine and yellow ochre. I enhanced her fur a bit more in her portrait than her photo really dictated because she’s got a really pretty coat and I wanted to show that off a bit.

    Click here to view the work in progress, if you’d like to see it all together.

    I’ve taken a side photo of the panel so you can see the dimension as well.

    Lola silver lab puppy dog portrait painting by Leanne Wildermuth

    I just got my internet connection (cable) back about an hour ago, apparently it’s been down all night (thank God I was sleeping, I may have very well chewed off my fingernails waiting for it to come back up!!) I did manage to get a couple of other projects underway while I was waiting this morning.

    Hope you’re having a good week!

    Lola : Silver Lab Portrait WIP #3


    Lola silver lab custom dog portrait by Leanne Wildermuth

    I’ve completed Lola’s underpainting – it’s pretty rough but you can see now how the coloring all pulls together and her eyes just pop! Love her collar design too, it’s a really girlie pattern.

    I’ll put the fan on her portrait and it’ll take a couple of days for this layer to dry. I’ll be working on some other projects for the rest of this week and pick Lola back up on Monday to finalize her portrait.

    Fan me on Facebook!

    Lola : Silver Lab Portrait WIP #2


    Lola silver lab puppy dog custom portrait in oil by Leanne Wildermuth
    I’ve finished Lola’s background color. It’s very similar to Kona’s portrait, though I’ve lightened it up a bit using Naples Yellow Light with a touch of Yellow Ochre to pull the light mint and gold in her eyes out into the background. The darks will balance the olive in her collar, with the deep fuchsia base in her collar the combination will be really beautiful.

    You can see that I’ve printed several reference photos. Larger for accuracy in color, smaller for accuracy in detail. Her coat color is quite varied in the three photos, the most naturally lit is the puppy photo on the left (c’mon everybody say “awwwww“) so that will be my primary reference for her silver coat color.

    I’ll work the eyes/underpainting tomorrow so you’ll see how the colors come together.

    Lola : Silver Lab Portrait WIP #1


    Lola silver lab puppy custom dog portrait painting Leanne Wildermuth

    I’ve sketched out Lola this afternoon, she’s a beauuuutiful silver lab (reminds me of a Weimaraner). She’s only about 7 months old. A couple of her reference photos show her in this same collar just a couple of months old, and boy has she grown into it! What a beautiful breed, though – honestly I’d never even seen a silver lab until Lola – and now I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for them!

    My client (you can read her blog here) found my Etsy shop and ordered her custom portrait through my shop. Funny thing – I designed her blog for her about a year ago! So cool to get to work with her again. I’m just tickled. :)

    I’ll be working on Lola’s background tomorrow.

    Kona’s Completed Portrait and Work in Progress


    aka “How to furry up your bald cat.”



    kona orange tabby cat painting work in progress 3
    From my previous work in progress, you can go ahead and admit it – you were frightened. It is hard for some people to envision my finished portrait when they view the underpaintings, and that’s okay. I mean, as long as no one is scared off by it! After sharing the final digital pic of the finished portrait with my client last night, I realized that you really do have to know my work, and in a lot of cases you have to own one of my paintings, in order to overlook the craziness that is one of my underpaintings.

    So for Kona’s portrait, I decided to stop every so often and snap a photo, and share my entire work in progress. If you’re an artist, and you want to take this as a “how to paint a cat portrait”, then I do hope this helps you. I’ll try to detail out my thought process through the painting so you can get an idea of how I work.

    Keep reading »

    Cat Portrait : Kona WIP #2


    Just finished Kona’s underpainting! So good to be out in the studio again.

    I’ve kept my palette to a minimum, using just 8 colors. Indigo, sap green, burnt umber for my darkest darks, magenta, ochre, winsor yellow and cadmium orange for Kona’s coat, and white. Oh, yes, and I pulled in just a smidge of french ultramarine for her multi-striped collar.

    I’ll apply several coats of fur once the underpainting is dry and also glossy up her eyes and nose. She’ll be just beautiful when she’s all done!

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