Copper the Birthday Dog

It is always enjoyable to be asked to do a pet portrait for a special occasion – and this one was no exception.




I begin by composing a rough drawing on tracing paper in order to place it on the board. An accurate, but subtle pencil outline is  transferred onto the board, before inking in the lines and colouring with waterproof indian ink.




I then set about blocking in the main shapes and colours with egg tempera. When painting with this medium, I work dark to light, building layers till they glow.

I can then refine details by cross hatching with many tiny brushstrokes.

The work begins on the minute hairs and whiskers…..


copper closeup

At various stages, you can see the layers of paint needed to make the fur look realistic…




In the final stages, I work on the cute details of the bandana and the background. And voila…..Copper the rescue dog as commissioned for a special birthday gift.


image1-16 copy




Caroline Rudge

I'm Caroline Rudge, an artist living and working in Wiltshire, UK. I specialise in the beautiful and ancient medium of Egg Tempera.

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