This is the process involved in each painting. Each painting starts from a hand drawing on blank piece of canvas and develops in stages, letting the oil dry in between. Each painting can vary on the amount of stages involved. It depends on the complexity of the portrait and how much detail you start with.

This painting is an excellent example of how some things can be changed, depending on the portrait of course. While the photo was still nice and clear, I changed the angle slightly from standing to sitting, and changed the line of the body, so it appeared the portrait was at eye level rather than looking down. Sometimes (not always) there is room for flexibility.

Please note the process images were photographed at different times of the day. This explains the colour change, particularly in the last two stages.

Stage 1Stage 2

Stage 1 and 2

Drawing up the portrait. The most critical and quite often difficult stage. This is where all proportions need to be correct and everything is where it should be. While there is some margin for error, that margin is slim. The portrait is drawn up in pencil, showing areas of highlight and shading. The next stage is filling in the base colour of the portrait. This stage is very rough with virtually no detail work, but you can see how it will come together and if all proportions are correct.

Stage 3Stage 4

Stage 3 and 4

Here I have gone over it again, but instead of being block colours, I have started blending the different areas of shading together to add realism and texture to the portrait. In stage 4 I added the background and fine detail to the portrait. This is where a lot of the highlight and fur detail work was done. I changed part of the body here too, the contour of the line going down the left side of the body. As I had to adjust the proportions in this portrait from standing (in the original photograph) to sitting, that line didn't look quite right, so I took it out further along the edge of the body.

Stage 5

Final Stage

This included all final detail touches to the fur and fluffing out the body into the background. I also made quite a few changes to the eyes here. The original image was quite small and the eyes were difficult to see, but in the previous painting they looked too rich in colour, and generally not quite right. Here I toned down the colour, increased the size of the pupils and shifted the highlight more towards the centre.