Drawing pet portraits – inside view

posted in: Creative process | 0

First things first – I LOVE ANIMALS. I was painting and drawing them ever since I started my art journey. New turn on that road – pet portraits. I thought, I’ll try, see if I like it. I did. I liked it. And so as Claire (the owner of Mungo – the first fluff ball I drew). Double joy! Second one – I liked even more. By third one – absolutely love it!

It’s not just drawing. It’s experience like no other. Imagine you have met someone, liked them, got excited and wanted to tell someone else about them. But you can’t. Saaay…., you are not allowed to use words. That’s quite a task, isn’t it? Well, that’s how I feel when I’m drawing pets. Pets are special, they live with humans so in some ways they become alike – they have character, habits, moods… and after a few portraits I have drawn, I noticed that you can guess it. Well, I’m not a pro just yet, but I think I can somewhat describe them. And I do, except not with words, that’s all 🙂

Ok, since I swore to myself that I will keep the posts short, I will now illustrate the process I go through with each portrait. First, I request a lot of photos, different ones. And I stare at them. For a while. I carry them in my purse and look at them on the subway sometimes. Thinking about the animal, their character, habits. It doesn’t matter if I’m accurate in my guesses, it’s just my way of connecting with them.


Next I do a colour study – mostly for the eyes, eyes are important. And I try different pastels and select ones that work.


And then it’s a full blown fun – colours, shapes, values… everything I know about drawing and painting. I just WORK.


After I laid down the most important things, I leave it for a day or two lying on the floor in my room. I do my stuff, but I constantly glance at the work trying to spot things – what to add, correct, emphasize.


After I had long enough break, I go back with “fresh eyes” and finish it. Sometimes I leave work a few times to let my eyes and my mind rest before I actually finish it. Only a week later – Voila!