How do I complete a drawing from start to finish?

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Every artist has their own different way of working. This is mine:

All of my work is completed from photographs. As I am unable to meet your pet in most cases it is vital that the photographs you send me are clear and a good representation.

I am always happy to draw any pose/composition as long as you can provide me with a photo.

Once I receive the photos I begin by sketching out a rough outline of the subject on small bits of paper to get the composition right, then I start the actual drawing.

If you have any suggestions or ideas about the composition or if you would like me to work from a particular photo please let me know.

I always work on high quality, heavy weight, white paper.

The hardest part of starting a picture is staring at a huge blank sheet of paper and wondering where to begin! I always draw very lightly to begin with so I can get the shapes and proportion right. I map out the rough size of the subject so I know it will fit on the paper, then I lightly map in the details such as face, ears, eyes, legs etc. I don't add any detail until the outline looks absolutely right.

I then pick an area to start filling in the detail, usually the eyes or ears. I gradually work my way across the drawing until it is complete.

I sometimes revisit certain areas to darken or lighten them a bit. It often takes me many days to finish a very large picture. I sometimes do more than one version of a drawing if I feel I can improve on it. Most pet portraits take anywhere from a full day - a week to complete.

I usually have between 20 - 35 portraits in a waiting list. I work through them in order but I often work on two or three at the same time. I will spend a few hours on a portrait and then leave it for a while and work on another. Then I come back to the first one with fresh eyes and I can see if I'm going wrong anywhere.

I love creating the different textures and shades in a drawing. I draw long fur with flowing strokes of the pencil and press harder for darker areas. I like drawing the reflections in smooth coated animals.

When a portrait is complete I will E-mail you a photo of it so you can have a look. On the rare occasion that there are any problems they can be corrected at this stage.

Finally, I cut the portrait to size and mount it, ready for you to frame. I always mount portraits in pale ivory, if you would like a different colour, please let me know. The portrait is now ready to post, via special delivery.

When you receive your finished portrait it must be framed behind glass to protect it. Most of the portraits I complete are done to standard sizes (unless otherwise requested) Frames can be bought ready made from many shops to fit these sizes. Alternatively you can take your portrait to a professional framers.

I am unable to frame portraits for you as it makes them too expensive to post and there is a risk of the glass breaking and damaging your portrait.

If you have any questions or comments about my work please don't hesitate to contact me and I will do my best to answer them.

Click here for a quote!

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Tel: 01637 854 820 or 07884433024 or E-mail: info@julieandpatrhodes.co.uk