I took a photo many years ago of this gorgeous little dog belonging to a neighbour of mine - a Shih Tzu named Robbie, and I finally got around to painting him.
My first stage is to choose my pastel paper colour, this is probably the most difficult part! I needed to find a colour that wasn't too dark because the dog's coat has quite a lot of lighter colours in it. I chose Canson Mi-Teintes "Maroon" (it's more of a warm beige) - smooth side.
I started by deciding on a size, as he is a small dog I chose an 8x10". Then I sketched the dog in a pale coloured pastel pencil.
The next stage was to start blocking in with Pan Pastels. I always look for basic shapes so that I'm working over the whole painting - not just concentrating on one section at a time.
My next stage is to block in the background so I can see how the painting looks with all the basics in place so I can judge my composition and tonal values as I progress.
I keep working on tonal values and gradually add in some finer details with soft pastels.
I keep working all over the dog painting making sure I'm happy with the colours and tonal values and add in some further fine details with soft pastels.
When I think I'm finished I step away for a while and then go back, if I'm satisfied it's finished I sign it and the dog portrait painting is finished.