Posted on

how I start my portraits!

I get asked a lot about how I begin my pet portraits – the initial stage is so important because the proportions and likeness can make or break the final piece, at the end of the day, I want it to look realistic and the client wants it to be a good representation of their pet!

When I first began drawing, I would spend hours and hours free handing outlines and drawing out grids and then trying to erase the lines and guides. Now when I’m drawing for fun, I still like to free hand pieces (especially in acrylic and oils!), but when it comes to commissioned artwork, I don’t want to waste the time drawing out the outline freehand to find that when I start drawing, the proportions are off. I’d have to up my prices to account for the extra time it takes, and frankly – I just don’t enjoy it as much as getting stuck into the colours.

The simplest way I’ve found to transfer my reference onto my paper is-

  1. I print my reference at the size I want to draw it
  2. I use a 4b Koh-I-Nor graphite stick to cover the back of the print out in graphite
  3. I place the printout over my paper and secure it in place with tape
  4. I trace over the image with a coloured pencil so I can see exactly where I’ve drawn!

Ta-daaaa! A quick and easy transfer method to get straight into the good bit.

Any questions – feel free to contact me!

Cherry xo