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  • Pit Bull Portrait : Josie WIP 1&2


    pit bull dog portrait custom painting by Leanne Wildermuth
    Meet Josie – again, for those of you who recognize her, this is her second portrait. The first was a pencil drawing, now featured on my blog button, you can see her first portrait here. Josie was a gorgeous and much loved pit bull terrier, and I’m delighted to be painting her in oils this time. Her brindle coat color is going to make her portrait really neat to work.

    I’m sharing two progress shots, since I got approval from my client to proceed with the crop of the original photo – I wanted to get as much done today on her portrait as I could, so I can dig in with the underpainting next week. The sketch, above, and the background color, below:

    pit bull dog portrait custom painting by Leanne Wildermuth
    I’ve got a really nice, natural gradation going for her background color. It’s a combination of yellow ochre, naples yellow light, burnt sienna, burnt umber and a touch of raw umber here and there. Very earthy, very warm. It will really draw attention to the lighter shades in her coat as well as her eyes.

    Stay tuned for the underpainting progress shot!

    Dog Portrait : Taysia Blue Complete


    I’ve finished Taysia Blue’s portrait this afternoon, and will get a better pic up once the painting is dry.

    I’ve also chosen my weekly graphite giveaway winner – and this week, I am going to make you wait. Check back Monday to see the winner’s portrait!!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    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.

    Pit Bull Portrait : Josie Completed


    pit bull dog portrait by leanne wildermuth

    I finished Josie’s portrait late lastnight, and my work in progress shots require much editing for lighting. I just took this daylight shot and will get it scanned for more accurate details and color – but wanted to share. Her portrait is exactly how I imagined it would be, and her loving personality is so apparent.

    My to-do list is crazy big, Martina is singing White Christmas in the family room and I have much to accomplish in a few short hours! Will post the final scan once I have another moment.


    Pit Bull Portrait : Josie WIP #1


    pit bull pencil custom portrait progress
    I began working on this lovely brindle pit bull portrait this afternoon. Her name is Josie, she’s a Christmas portrait so I’ll be getting this drawing done up in the next day or so to put it with a Gift Certificate for my client – I will be painting Josie again some time in January. My client rescues pit bulls and I have to give her props for that, she has 5 dogs at the moment (Josie, sadly, has gone over the rainbow bridge).

    I am really drawn into this offset curled up pose, after looking through all of her photos I thought this best suited her personality and comfort in her surroundings.

    I’ll post all of the progress together so you can “watch” the piece as it develops.

    Mother & Daughter Portrait Complete


    Custom graphite pencil portrait Audrey and Janeice drawing by Leanne Wildermuth

    I’ve completed this pencil portrait of Audrey and Janeice, matted it and have it wrapped in and ready to present to Audrey today at Church. I’m not sure if all my little modifications are even noticeable to you, the eyes, a bit more blending in the skin tone and deepening, I’ve tweaked both of their noses – little things that seemed off to me as I kept looking back and forth from their photo to the drawing.

    custom graphite pencil drawing portrait mother and daughter by Leanne Wildermuth Here’s the piece matted and I’ve signed the matboard and it’s ready to drop into a frame, just in time for Christmas.

    It’s been a busy week here in the studio, I’ve tried to get away a couple of times to get some Christmas shopping done – I’m so glad I can do so much of it online! Today I’ll be getting another piece ready, I’ll be drawing a brindle Pit Bull named Josie over the next week. I’ll also put together my Handmade Gift Exchange packages (Catie joined in on the fun, and her gift is just so cute!), get a hundred or so Christmas cards and postcards addressed, and attend the girls Church Christmas Program later on in the evening.

    If you’re on Facebook – I did get the girls Piano Recital videos uploaded to my wall – go have a peek if you haven’t already, I’m so proud of them!

    I hope you’re all doing well – and that you’re getting everything in order for the Holiday without panic! It always seems there’s less and less time every year, doesn’t it?

    Graphite Portrait : Audrey & Janeice


    Another graphite pencil portrait that I’ve been working on, Audrey and Janeice. I started yesterday with penciling in the facial features and general outline – it’s pretty light but you get the idea of how getting these proportions is crucial as I’m working in the shading.

    I started with Audrey, working left to right across the piece. Most of these progress shots are pretty rough, and even now I am still in my contemplating stage with the portrait since I notice things every time I look at it that need just a bit of tweaking.

    Just like my previous portrait, I get the details down, shade in a medium value, and then return to blend, darken, and lighten or lift the pencil.

    Audrey is all sketched in, now I’ll bring in the blender (a tortillion) and lighten with either a kneaded eraser or for this portrait, I’ve used a pink pencil-top eraser as the areas are much smaller and require a fine edge eraser.

    Audrey’s portrait is blended now, though I’ll keep returning to it to make minor changes.

    Moving on, I’ve begun Janeice’s portion of the portrait, roughing in those medium values.

    Darkening in the hair, skin tones – her skin tone is really dark at this point so I lift a lot of that shading off with the kneaded eraser blend, and lift more.

    This is the latest photo, and at this point I’ve gone ahead and signed the portrait and I’m calling it complete, however I am still going back every half hour or so and re-evaluating, making more tweaks as needed. I’ll post the final scan in my portfolio.

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