Animal Art Jamming :Pet Portraits

Your eyes are the window to your soul. On a blank or incomplete canvas, the eyes are usually the last to be painted on. Your masterpiece will not be complete without the essence of the soul, especially in the case of painting animals or pet portraits. There are many people, especially pet owners who love to paint their pet portraits in Singapore. In this article, we will be showcasing one of the works by a one of our art jamming workshop attendees who was keen to paint a pet portrait of his beloved cat.

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. 

Martin Buber

Table of Contents:

Steps on How To Paint Pet Portraits:

Step 1: Have an image of the animal/pet that you want to draw. Make sure to take an image using your smartphone for easier referencing while drawing and painting.

Pet Portraits Singapore - Cat Portrait
Step 2 – Planning the proportions

Step 2: Plan the proportions on the canvas with a rough sketch. This is to ensure that the ratio of blank space to the subject focus is accurate and on point. Take note not to sketch in the fine details, since you will paint over the features later on. Here, we do up a light sketch of the rough outlines of the pet cat before painting over it.

Cat Portrait Singapore, a work in progress
Step 3 – Contrasting Backgrounds

Step 3: Choose one or two plain colours for your background. The colours should preferably be contrasting to the colour of your pet, so as to ensure that your pet is the main focus of the portrait. The background is usually painted first before the pet’s fur is painted on. This is to prevent the colours of the fur from botching up with the background colours. In this case, we use light blue for the background colour, in order to highlight the colour contrast between the background and the subject. (pet portrait of the cat)

Step 4: After the background layer, one can start with the fur of the animal. Take note of the highlights and the darker shades. Choose a base colour first, before adding the shadows and the highlights of the fur. in this case, we will be using the stroking method. The direction of the strokes will determine the shape of the pet and the overall aesthetic of the pet.

Pet Portraits Singapore, painting of a cat done at Ccmonstersart studio
Step 5 – Adding in the Features

Step 5: Add in the features of the pets. This includes the nose, eyes, mouth and ears (including the inner ear) as well as the highlights and outlines of the pet’s features.

Step 6: If the portrait includes the surface the pet is standing on, remember to include in the shadows of the pet to bring your pet portrait to ‘life’.

Drawing an animal can post a challenge to many, especially if one has little to no prior experience. You may end up with a less than desired portrait, especially with the facial features and the postures/stance of the animal. This includes the contours of the animal body, and the layers of fur covering it. To learn to draw an animal’s anatomy, it is highly recommended to seek the advice and expertise of an experienced artist like Celine Chia.

With 20 years of experience in her grasp, she will definitely be of great assistance to ignite your passion in the arts and perfect your very own pet portraits masterpiece in Singapore. Alternatively, if you’re not confident, you can definitely consider opting for an art commission instead!

Sign up for our pet portrait art jamming workshops today or stay tuned to our socials for the latest updates!

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