Nomi Wagner Portrait Artist

Très Jolie—A Tutorial of a Pet Portrait Painting

by Nomi Wagner

Jolie, a darling Papillon, was enjoying the warmth of a shaft of sunlight. As she struck a very ladylike pose, her owner happened to walk into the room. He grabbed a photo with his cell phone, found my website and emailed me:

 Hello, Nomi–I am interested in a portrait of our family pet modeled on the attached photo.“

Though the pose was adorable, the photo was too low in resolution for me to see good detail of Jolie’s fur and features. My client then emailed some more photos taken with his regular camera, and I referenced all of his photos for the painting of Jolie.

To pinpoint Jolie’s features, using Corel Painter, I made a digital charcoal sketch referring to all the photos and painted freehand, with digital watercolor, on a layer above the sketch. The sketch could be toggled on and off. For a more detailed description of my technique, please refer to past tutorials in the archived posts.

When Jolie’s portrait was complete, I painted the hardwood floor on a layer beneath her portrait. My digital oil pastel brush worked well to finish the edges of Jolie’s fluffy fur against the wood floor.Voilà!!!

"Hi, Nomi – Yes, my surprise worked well, except my daughter went into our bedroom and saw it early. My wife loves it!”