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>> Wildermuth Creative Portraits <<

  • Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
  • Jerry : Graphite Portrait Complete


    Jerry, custom graphite pencil portrait drawing by Leanne Wildermuth

    I’ve completed Jerry’s portrait and received the proof approval from my client, so this piece is now officially complete!

    Much has changed since my last update, I’ve blended a medium tone over his whole face, then lightened and deepened further to get those final details. It’s turned into a very artistic yet lifelike rendering that I’m pleased to sign my name to!

    I’m still working on a few other projects as well, another drawing, an illustration – and two blog/site design clients to button up before Christmas. Can you believe how fast the days are going by?!

    Jerry : Graphite Portrait WIP 2, 3, 4


    I’m sharing a few stages of Jerry’s portrait with you today. Above, you can see I’ve already worked in his hair and have moved along to the left side of his face to work in the shadows. Initially, I’ll start with a medium value and work either lighter or darker depending on where I’m going in the portrait. I’m wearing a cut up sock (isn’t it cuuuuute) to keep the oils on my hands to myself and to prevent my wrist and hand from smearing the graphite.

    Still working in facial features, darkening in the creases, browline, right eye.

    Here I’ve got the portrait pretty well drawn in. I’ll go back with my eraser pencil (yes, it’s a pencil with eraser instead of lead, one of my favorite pencils!!) and also darken and lighten further. I’ll use my blender pencil (if there’s a cool pencil to be found, I’ve probably got one) to really give that depth and dimension to the finished portrait.

    Overall, I’m very pleased with his portrait. It’s been a while since I’ve worked a two-legged creature (as June put it) and I rather enjoy the challenge!

    Jerry : Graphite Portrait


    I’m working on this graphite portrait for a client for Christmas – he’s a handsome fella, isn’t he? This shot was taken on his wedding day, such a warm loving look on his face – of course he was sharing that look with his bride!

    So far I’ve lightly penciled in his features and just started working on his hair. I’ll post more photos as I progress.


    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.

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    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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