I like to work with my photographs and after all turn some of the best ones into paintings... Since I only have as much time and so many things to do (try to plane you day around 20+ dogs, two horses, party-time job, all hobbies and yes, family!), I'm using a lot of digital images as reference for my art works. There are several ways to go about it and I will share with you some of them, when I have some extra pictures of work in progress... This one was my second attempt to do a pet portrait in Oil Pastel. I used Sennelier Plain Air set and Sennelier watercolor paper. Reference image was one of the shots our Wire Fox Terrier, Zippy, heaving good time with his toy.
First I cropped the photo to the exact create exact prototype of my future painting.
I used a Photoshop to put grid on his photo and separate it on smaller parts, what will make reference easier to handle. I did hand drown sketch from reference picture
and then rendered it in Sennelier's starting from background, then putting a layer of white pastel on image of dog, as a base color and then adding extra colors (browns, grays etc). I used a small piece of my eraser as blender to mix up layers and create a coat structure.
This particular work was done in size about 8 X 10 and finished at one evening... (OK, let be honest - way after midnight!)