This is Katie, a beautiful 8 year old Dalmatian and the portrait is to be a surprise 60th birthday present for her owner, Margaret.
I've been putting off starting this portrait for weeks - it isn't required until September, so adrenaline hasn't kicked in and I've been slipping other commissions in first. Also the choice of reference photo was left to me. I had shortlisted two photos and just couldn't make the decision. I think the other picture was possibly more interesting as Katie was smiling broadly - but that meant drawing a huge expanse of doggy gums/tongue and teeth so I decided on this one where she seems to be expecting a treat!
I'm drawing her in pastels on Colourfix (which isn't my favourite paper) as the pink colour complements her fur nicely
I've made the outline quite dark so it will show in the WIP photos and I've just marked where her spots are. As usual I have drawn the eye first and then started to put down a layer of pastel, being careful to follow the fur direction.
I have started to block in the shadows and contours of Katie's face. They look very exaggerated at this stage but will tone down as the white hairs are drawn in later and they will all help to add depth to the portrait.