Custom holiday gift group portrait of four pets in pen and watercolor

Group portrait of two dogs and two cats in pen and watercolor

This is a custom drawing in pen and watercolor done on A3 size paper.
I was approached by the owner of these four, who asked if I could do a group portrait of her two cats and two dogs for a Christmas present. As always, I was more than happy to give it a shot. The owner emailed me several photos of each animal and I was able to cut and paste the individual pictures to compose a base to work from. Since this is four faces in one picture, I suggested that I draw it on A3 size paper, so the faces wouldn’t become too small in the drawing. I started by drawing the two labs and the cats in pencil, to tune in on the general shapes on the paper. I then went more detailed with a thin ink pen, and gradually erased the pencil lines. The third step was to do the watercolor, which I added in several washes of blue, red, brown and purple in order to gradually get the right color in their fur. When the fur is very dark, like it is the case with the black Labrador and the ears of the two cats, I like to add a layer of black ink, which helped giving a good depth and the right tone to the black fur. Lastly I did the light blue background and added some white gouache for the highlights in the eyes as well as the whiskers.

If you like this one, then please also come see my portrait of Liberty, the Labrador retriever or my portrait of Merlin the Siamese cat – or go have a look at my gallery of pet portraits to see a wider selection of my animal art.


8 thoughts on “Custom holiday gift group portrait of four pets in pen and watercolor

  1. Wow, Thomas, you inspire me. I’d like to be able to do pet portraits too but the painting part in particular seems very tough. You seem to take to it so well, though! I’m really amazed at your progress. I guess I just need to keep drawing and painting. You’re doing really nice work here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! For me, it was when I started using pen with watercolor that I felt I got a “breakthrough”.. I think that the contrast of the black ink helps the watercolor painting come alive much more once you step back and look at it. For me, the ink drawing is the “real” drawing” whereas the watercolor is more of a bonus. At some point I’d like to do some more 100% watercolor’s, but that’s much harder to get right. (for me)

      Liked by 2 people

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