Cute Pet Portrait in Oils – Getting Started

In this series we will be making a pet portrait in oils. We will begin this first session with a wash drawing – using burnt umber and solvent over a toned canvas.

Reference Image: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/P1060173.jpg

Materials

  • Canvas
  • Brushes
  • Burnt Umber Oil Paint
  • Solvent (mineral spirits etc.)
  • Easel
  • Palette
  • Palette Cups

Process

  • Begin by using a medium sized brush to apply the basic outline in slightly diluted burnt umber.
  • You can use a second brush dipped in solvent to correct any mistakes (it will wash the paint off the surface).
  • Then keep using the same brush to block in the dark tones.
  • Again, you can use the second brush to correct any mistake (it may need to be cleaned from time to time).
  • Don’t worry if you lose some of the edge to the background (like the lower snout in my piece) as these will be recovered later.
  • Finally, you can take a smaller brush to refine the shapes a bit.
  • You can also start to soften some of the shadow edges in preparation for building form in the next session.

Sketching a Shell in Graphite and Carbon – Finishing it off

In this series, we will be creating a rendered drawing of a broken shell using a mix of graphite and carbon pencils. In this final session we will be refining the texture of the shell and make some final adjustments to the tonal relationships.

You can download the same reference I’m using here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/P1090886-scaled.jpg

Here is a rough materials guide:

  • Paper
  • Old bristle brush for blending
  • Graphite pencils (mix of hardnesses)
  • Carbon Pencil (mix of hardnesses)
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Begin by shading in the background behind the shell.
  • This will ensure that the highlights on the shell are the brightest parts of the drawings.
  • (Leaving the background white would make the highlights stand out less).
  • Then use a mixture of the graphite pencil and carbon pencil to add more specific textures to the shell.
  • This may involve softening transitions or it could mean adding contrast in some areas.
  • Finish by punching out the darkest parts with carbon pencil and erasing the highlights.
  • This will make the most of tonal range available.
  • That’s it!

Sketching a Shell in Graphite and Carbon – Deepening the Tones

In this series, we will be creating a rendered drawing of a broken shell using a mix of graphite and carbon pencils. This session will be spent darkening the shadows and the darker halftones using gradual passes of tone.

You can download the same reference I’m using here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/P1090886-scaled.jpg

Here is a rough materials guide:

  • Paper
  • Old bristle brush for blending
  • Graphite pencils (mix of hardnesses)
  • Carbon Pencil (mix of hardnesses)
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Begin by adding in the darkest shadows using the carbon pencil.
  • This will give you an idea of how dark the darkest parts of the drawing can be (thereby show the range available between the darkest sections and the lightest).
  • You can then use the old bristle brush to smooth out the charcoal and soften the edges of the shadows.
  • Once you’ve laid in the darkest parts using carbon, switch back to graphite pencil and start laying in gradual passes of darker halftones.
  • Start with the darkest parts first.
  • It’s always a good idea to work from dark to light and preserve the white of the paper for brighter highlights.
  • Keep adding more and more passes of tone until you’ve roughly matched the reference.
  • Don’t worry about any details yet though!

Sketching a Shell in Graphite and Carbon

In this series, we will be creating a rendered drawing of a broken shell using a mix of graphite and carbon pencils. This session will be focused on getting the basic shapes and shadows of the shell loosely sketched in.

You can download the same reference I’m using here: http://drawandpaint4free.artcoursework.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/P1090886-scaled.jpg

Here is a rough materials guide:

  • Paper
  • Graphite pencils (mix of hardnesses)
  • Carbon Pencil (mix of hardnesses)
  • Kneadable eraser
  • Begin by lightly sketching in the curves of the shell.
  • You are looking to get the overall proportions roughly correct at this stage.
  • Don’t worry about adding lots of detail.
  • If you notice any mistakes at any point, don’t hesitate to erase and correct them.
  • Next, you can lay in the main shadow shapes and shade them in lightly too.
  • Once again, avoid adding lots of detail yet. Just focus on the major shapes and forms.
  • Finally, you can lay in more precise outlines now that everything is roughly correct.
  • You can also start shading in the halftones a bit to begin to turn the lighter forms.