View Full Version : Portrait of Pepper, border terrier

02-25-2017, 09:12 AM
I am not very proficient at depicting fur in watercolour and want to improve, so I'm not particularly happy with the finished painting and am classing it as practise. I thought you'd be interested in seeing it, any way.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Feb-2017/1989627-IMG_9331.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Feb-2017/1989627-IMG_9332.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Feb-2017/1989627-IMG_9333.JPG http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Feb-2017/1989627-IMG_9360.JPG

Any help and comments would be welcome.

02-25-2017, 12:49 PM
Very cute dog. Sorry no help on the watercolour issue, as I'm not good at it myself.

02-25-2017, 01:18 PM
Thnak you for looking, Sheila. I am sure you are good at something else!

02-25-2017, 11:41 PM
Great going, Penny. My suggestion for a dark colored dog is to leave the background white. For finer details, use a finer brush and try not to overload it with paint. I hope this'll help a bit.

02-26-2017, 02:05 AM
Thank you, Christel. Backgrounds always worry me! I will definitely think of leaving the white paper next time, and a finer brush and strokes is a good idea. I think I will try again. I do tend to use thick paint and must be more delicate - I have the same problem with florals! 😊

02-26-2017, 09:41 AM
This is good, I love the nose! I agree with Christel on the background, the dark colour overpowers it a bit and you lose the untidy edges of the fur. Starting delicately is a good idea, you can always build the colour up. I actually really the way it looks in the second picture. :)

02-26-2017, 10:40 AM
Thanks, Kay. I will leave a pale background next time so as not to get the "cut out" effect. I also like the second and third stages of the painting better than the finished. I am too impatient and want to work quickly - I must take more time to make more delicate strokes.

I about to start a different dog, sort-haired this time- but will try the border terrier again.


chammi kaiser
02-27-2017, 02:37 AM
Penny, certainly a lighter bg would look better but I think you have a good job in bringing out the personality of this little fellow. Good for you, considering painting the border terrier again. This is the way we improve and learn. Looking forward to your next dog portrait.

02-27-2017, 04:24 AM
Hi Penny,
I think it was great until you added the background. The tone is very powerful compared to the dog. You can add some very light blue and make it shift. I'm not sure how to do it in watercolors, Maybe just add some water and with a clean white cloth take some strength off the Green? Then glaze with some cerulean light bluish tone...Also, You can always add acrylic over :D

Or you can go deeper dark:
Gray and black in your background... will pop the dog out again:

02-27-2017, 07:25 AM
Thanks, Chammi, for the advice and encouragement.😊

I am about to begin a painting of a different dog and will complete that before trying Pepper again.

02-27-2017, 07:28 AM
Thanks for your advice and help, fedetony. I am annoyed that I added the background as I did. I painted it in black watercolour to begin with, then decided I wanted it lighter and added white acrylic - if I remember correctly - then added the green! Hopefully I will learn from the mistakes. If I was keeping the painting, I would alter the background as you suggest, but it's gone to the dogs owner, already, unfortunately.

I will try better next time.

Thanks for the encouragement.

02-27-2017, 11:24 PM
Hi Penny! Cute pup! I like photos #3 with the white bg though indeed a black bg helps the pup pop forward. I admire your patience working with different colours and in layers for the fur :)

02-28-2017, 07:02 AM
Thank you, E.P. I like the unfinished ones, too. I cropped the finished version as a close-up, leaving very little green background for the photo I always keep for myself, and it doesn't look too bad.

Vivien Maloney
03-02-2017, 06:04 PM
Fur isn't easy to portray in watercolor, but I've always found - less is more. So when I do a watercolor of a dog (my wc of a dog in the Feb Challenge) I try to wet the paper and drop in the colors loosely. If it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't - but may next time.

Good for you trying different techniques with watercolor. You've caught the personality of the little dog, and that's not always easy!

03-02-2017, 06:29 PM
Thanks, Viv. I agree, fur is a challenge. I liked your Yorkie and could see how you used paint on wet paper. I tend to use a dryer brush. I do admire loose, wet strokes, so must use that teqchnique more often. 😎

03-04-2017, 09:12 AM
For this cute dog, agree with fedetony's dark background as the dog is lighter than the photo image depicts. I'd have glazed the big with alizarin crimson which fine over the green, made a soft black.

03-04-2017, 09:51 AM
Thanks, Kay. I will keep that in mind. I don't think of mixing crimson and green!