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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Chloe portrait in progress 1

Starting a portrait of red Doberman Chloe leaping into the Trinity River, a birthday gift from Doug Paul to his wife Cherie.

You probably know my artwork is done primarily with Prismacolor pencils. Sometimes I use underpainting to put in large areas of color on a portrait. I do that with transparent watercolor (acrylic paint thinned with water), and then add all the details of the portrait on top of that with colored pencil.

I’ve chosen to work on “Felt Grey” Canson paper, a favorite Canson color of mine for portraits. Since the river is a large area of greens, I’m laying in green underpainting to save many hours of filling in with green pencils. In this pic, I’ve started with the dark green-blue of the distant forest trees, and the shadowed areas of water at the base of the rocks. Tomorrow I will mask off the figure of Chloe, and do a smooth wash with large brushes all the way across the paper from side to side with medium greens and gold-greens, to create the base color of the river. All the ripples and other details will be done over that with colored pencil.

Portrait of red Doberman in progress, in Kevin's studio, with reference photo on the monitor

On the monitor is my reference picture. It’s composed of several photos sent to me by Doug, combined together, along with some colors thrown on it with Photoshop to make up the missing pieces. That reference picture guides me while I'm working.


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