I painted this little border terrier Danny as a surprise birthday present which has now been gifted so I can share him with you.  The family no longer have Danny so this was done from a selection of photos they had.  I simplified and edited the main photo a bit but we decided to leave the chair and table in as this was his favourite spot from which he kept an eye on the family!  I hope this will be a treasured reminder of this wee character 🙂
The finished portrait 12″x12″
The main photo reference of Danny.  I was asked to neaten up his beard a little from other photos as he was more often neatly trimmed.  I also worked from some other photos for more detail around his eyes which were quite dark in this photo.


The sketch on my velour board.  I seem to use the yellow velour a lot these days, I just find it such a nice tone to work on.  It keeps a certain warmth about it.


The chair in first as it’s in the background.  I’ll leave the table in the foreground until last.


A bit of work done with the black Faber Castell stick to get the flow of the fur going.  You can see from this picture how I start to layer up the fur which is done with many small marks layered quite randomly around eachother but following the grain of his fur.




I constantly go back and tweak until the fur starts to flow nicely with the top layers of hightlights blending softly into the lower layers.  I don’t blend a lot on fur as I want to be able to see the individual marks and the different colours next eachother.



Almost there now.  I’ve begun the fur on his chest before doing his beard as it will be in front of that.  It makes the most sense to me to work from the background to the foreground giving everything nice soft edges.

Hope you enjoyed Danny’s progress!  Check out my website www.EmmaColbertArt.com for info on commissioning a portrait.