Here is the preliminary drawing followed by the first step in rendering the doglet.
This is my first pet portrait, so keep your fingers crossed! Whatever I paint, I tend to start with the lightest values, especially any yellows, then jump into the darks.
EDIT (7/6/2007): I put this painting away for a long time. I felt that I had ruined it with the bold darks. I changed the original plan of dark muddy colors to a muted dark color mixed from Phthalo Blue (Daler-Rowney) and Cadmium Red (WN). Now I step back and I like them. Tonight I uploaded the third step. So I am past a point of no return...one of these days I will wrap this one up!
On to the specs. This is woodless graphite and Winsor & Newton watercolor paints on Arches 140-Lb. Hot Press paper (here I am working on a 10" x 14" block). Thus far the paints used are Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, and Burnt Umber.
I plan to use French Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Umber for my darks, adjusting the proportions for warm and cool tones. For the background, which is my pale skin (since I'm hugging her), I will likely use mixtures of Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Raw Sienna, and Burnt Umber with lots of water to let the white of the paper show through and glow.
I'll update this post as I make progress, which tends to be slow (I work in fits...this start of golds came in one evening). Thanks for looking! :)
EDIT (12/18/2008): I pulled this painting out after not looking at it for over a year. I suddenly was inspired to take the blocked-in piece and continue to develop it. I added more darks (combinations of cadmium red, pthalo blue, Daniel Smith perylene maroon, and FUB), softened edges, and began blocking in the rest of her body. I am thinking I will leave the bottom unfinished, and although my arms are holding her, I think I will only hint at that with some soft warm greys. I'll post a final as soon as I'm done!
EDIT (12/28/2008): Finally finished Sadie last week and framed her up yesterday as a birthday gift to Anthony. I cropped her a smidge to keep the focus on her eyes. I wanted to capture her noble profile and her sweet, and (sometimes) intelligent nature. I just suggested the hand holding her to help integrate her with the white background and also, the hand is only important to give her a sense of scale.