Bulldog from Pencil to Painting


Doodlewash Prompt #Trains A good owner ‘trains’ his dog to be sedate and not make messes.

I thought I’d post the pencil and pen stages of my artwork and see if anyone is interested. Can’t promise to remember to do this everyday – when I get in the zone, it is hard to stop for photos or scans.

This bulldog was painted on a Hahnemühle Rough watercolor postcard. I like the linen-like texture. It’s smooth enough to draw on but gives the finished work an extra oomph.

This bulldog is a fairly complex subject, especially around the face, so I pulled out my lightbox and the grid postcards that I keep on hand. I drew several of these so I wouldn’t have to draw the grid on my actual painting and I’d have several grid sizes available whenever I want them.

My reference photo was online (see photo credit below the finished postcard) so I called up the Art Tutor grid tool that allows you to upload a photo and overlay it with a grid. You can also crop and change the saturation.

I chose the grid card closest to the grid size that I overlayed online and pencil in the dog. I’m mainly looking to fit the dog on my postcard and to get the details of that wonderful face blocked in.

Most of my work is done during the drawing stage. I used a .5 Zebra Zensations Technical Pen because the dog is mostly white, so I’ll want my lines to show for the most part.

I draw the outline, details I want to show, and establish my values (darkest to lightest areas). I keep in mind how I’m going to color this and leave areas, such as the nose, lighter than I intend it to be so that I can darken it with color.


Adapted from a photo by danielsfotowel on Pixabay.

I used Daniel Smith half-pans for painting:

  • Lavender, Moonglow  & Phthalo Blue to shade the whites 
  • Transparent Red Oxide for the reddish portion of the face.
  • Monte Amiata, Moonglow, Shadow Violet for the mud, both on the ground and on the dog.  Splatter was done with these colors. 

My brush was a Princeton Artist Brush Elite Synthetic Kolinsky 4850 Round 6.

You can buy Hahnemühle Rough Watercolor Postcards at these places:

You can buy Zebra Zensation Technical Pens here.

You can buy Daniel Smith watercolor half-pans here. Pigments can also be bought separately in tubes.

Daniel Smith Colors of Inspiration 1

Daniel Smith Floral set

Daniel Smith Sketcher set

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