Watercolor Painintg


Three Dog Painting Water Color | WaterColorByMarnie

Create a watercolor portrait of your fur baby!

The animal watercolor pet portraits capture a pet’s appealing qualities and represent them to the audience with attractive brush strokes and complex gradient layers. The artist can incorporate warm and cool colors to enhance their love for the pet painting. Whether it’s your fur friend’s birthday or your furry family member has given you babies, you can give them as a gift. No matter how large the watercolor paintings are, remember ”less is more”. Place the paint in the right place in the right amount to prevent it from looking messy and ruining the frame. Also, do not overdo the painting since this will make your artwork come to life and look more authentic. 

You can get pet portraits from an online shop, usually in 3 sizes: 5 ×7, 8 ×10, and 11 ×14 inches. You can look for other frame sizes if you want a professionally framed painting. Once you get the frame, you have an open, creative space to add fluff to your furry friend. Always remember to get the face structure before diving into your paint palette. This way, your watercolor paintings will get focused and simpler. 


You require the following materials to turn a picture of your pet into a watercolor work of art.

  • A photo of your pet. Preferably a picture highlighting the most prominent features of your pet.
  • Tissue paper, tape, pencil, and watercolor paper.
  • A fine-point permanent marker
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrush, water, paper towel, and a palette to mix the colors if required.   
  • Preparing for the pet portrait and tracing:

It will help if you have a clear picture of your pet as your reference. If you don’t have a picture, you can look for high-quality images on social media. Once you have an image, we suggest you use photo-editing software to remove the background and solely focus on the dog and its features. 

First, you need to figure out how enlarged you want the portrait to be. If you want it more prominent than a standard printer-size paper, you must have a larger tracing paper. Pet portraits look attractive on a larger canvas, but cutting 400-pound paper is tough. 

  • Adding basic details of your pet:

For watercolor pet portraits, you must secure a piece of tissue paper over the top of your pet’s portrait. Then, trace over the main features of your pet with a pencil. Trace all the basic details of your pet; if you are artsy, you can get it done in a few minutes. 

Once the tissue paper tracing gets done, secure the illustration to a piece of watercolor paper. You must retrace the lines with a fine-tipped marker onto the watercolor paper. Remove the tissue paper and retrace the lines to darken them. 

  • The contrast in the watercolor paintings:

Pay attention to the photo and paint long brush strokes for the fur!

Take help from the original picture of your pet and paint through the watercolor paints. You can use a palette for ease, or if the paint goes on too thick, dab the paint with a paper towel. Try to pay more attention to the contrast of the pet’s painting. When you look closely, you will notice that the brown areas of the pet have an orange undertone, so you need to tackle those colors. The watercolor paintings might take extra time to define the highlights, reflections, and other minor details in the dog’s eyes. We will never suggest you ignore such highlights of your pet’s features since they convey emotions through the face. 

  • Add an aesthetic element to the paintings:

You can incorporate darker colors in the background to make the picture pop out more. Take a closer look at the key transition points in the painting and soften some of those edges. You can wet your painting brush and swipe it across those lines to create a more blended look. If you are someone who notices even the slightest details and wants to add some additional texture and details, we suggest you use white paint mixed with a bit of water. Implement all the detailing techniques, and you will see your pet’s personality emerge. 

For watercolor pet portraits and through an aesthetic and artsy point of view, we suggest you work from light to dark tones, layering in a darker shade with a white one, then adding brown and black. Do not wait until each layer gets dry. Just add the next color using a wet-on-wet technique. This technique will create a color gradation to make the eyes pop out and appear as realistic features of the pet. 

  • Emphasis on the final details:

Now comes the last part of watercolor paintings. You can add shading to make it look more appealing or place a frame on the painting. Look at your painting, ensure that the pet’s eyes pop out, and create the darker line where needed. You might find the whiskers a bit tricky, but the only thing you need is practice to paint them perfectly. The watercolor pet portraits require a fine brush to allow the paint to flow easily and add shadows to the portrait.

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