This is the first pet portrait I have done of a Weimaraner. I am creating this one with a slightly looser, more “painterly” style rather than my normal “include every hair” level of detail.
This is on drafting film (I doubt that I will ever go back to any other support! using colour pencils, mostly Derwents, Prismacolors and the odd FC Polychromos.
As usual, I sketch in the basic landmarks, work the eyes to about 90-95% completion (if I don’t get them right, the rest of the portrait will not come together) and the establish the highlights.
In the next photo, I have started to work in the shadow areas on the chest and body using a French Grey (sorry I can’t remember the % of FG, I tend to work intuitively with the colours, and rarely keep a track of the colours I am using).
I prefer to have a full range of values in my artwork, this can sometimes be a challenge with images like this one where there is fairly strong backlighting. We’ll see if I can pull it off;)
In the next image I have added some indigo to deepen the shadow areas.
Now I have started working in the midtones on the chest and body, working on the shapes for the different values rather than focusing on individual hairs.
I have continued building the chest and body with a variety of pinks, mauves, purples and french greys. The lips have been done with browns, pinks, light purple and black grape for the shadow area. I’ve also started the background using a variety of soft subtle greens. While a stronger background would definitely make the dog ‘pop’, I really want to portray the soft, loving side of the Weimaraner, so I have deliberately chosen more subtle colours.
A few more layers have been added to the background and I have started the first layers on the face and nose, which is looking a little wonky in this image, probably because I took the photo at an angle to avoid reflection of the drafting film.
Thats the last update I have at the moment for this pet portrait. I’m having fun experimenting with a slightly different style, and would love to know what you think, so please leave a comment!
Until I return with another update, here is some information on the Weimaraner breed, just in case your interested!
Weimaraner Breed Profile
Country of Origin: Germany
Coat type: There are two coat types, the Short haired which is smooth and sleek and the long haired variety which have a soft medium length top coat, with long feathering on the ears, tail and breeching and moderate feathering on the legs, belly and chest.
Temperament: Alert, affectionate, willing, obedient (when trained) dedicated and devoted to their family, love being the centre of attention.
Group: Gun Dog
Size: Dogs 59-70 cm and bitches 57-65 cm.
Weight: dogs – 30 to 40 kg, bitches – 25 to 35 kg
Original Purpose: Originally bred as a versatile hunting dog, and they are still used for this purpose today.
The Weimaraner is good natured and totally devoted to his owners, although they can be aloof with strangers. Affectionately known as the ‘grey ghost’, the Weimaraner is one of the worlds most versatile hunting dog that is able to point, retrieve, track and hold at bay. They are highly intelligent and excel in Obedience and Agility trials, and make wonderful companions if they are allowed to be a part of the family and are given an outlet for their intelligence.
Weimaraners need contact and companionship with their owners and are an energetic breed that needs lots of physical and mental stimulation to avoid boredome problems developing. The coat requires minimal regular grooming to remove dead hair (more frequent during coat changes) as well as regular ear cleaning, nail clipping and dental care.
Weimaraners are beautiful dogs – but that dosn’t make them suitable for everyone, so if you are considering adding one of these gorgeous dogs to your family, make sure you thoroughly research the breed and spend time getting to know them to make sure they are the right breed for you and your lifestyle.