Black, White & Sweet

All images ©Bivenne Staiger

Though not my pet, this black and white dog exudes sweetness. To paint her, I start with a pale, colorful background, dry- and wet-on-wet, to contrast her dark head, keeping the paper dry at bottom right to maintain darker value and edge control around her white fur:

All images ©Bivenne Staiger

An initial wash of pale Cobalt covers shadowed white fur at left and highlighted black fur on her forehead. Note that background color overlaps sketched shapes where dark paint will later depict black ears, head and fur.

All images ©Bivenne Staiger

Now she’s already coming to life. Though practically complete at right, her tawny markings are added first to the face, and then (not seen here), gray substitutes for black fur until I am satisfied with the shapes. Care is taken to paint around blue highlighted fur or else these shapes would all appear flat. Once gray is properly placed, a drier brush loaded with very dark paint (not black) delineates black fur, nostrils, and mouth. A few layers of pale blue build up the white fur texture on the neck.

All images ©Bivenne Staiger

She probably appears to have a blood-shot eye at left here, but this brown is its palest value, and is painted around highlights. The brown in her ear will later be darker. Blue on her back will appear as a highlight on her black fur. Tawny markings on the left are darker because that side is in shadow.

Brio, Watercolor, 12×16″ ©Bivenne Staiger 2021

Brio’s whiskers are mostly simply suggested with a few darker negative space shapes.

If you’d like to learn how to paint your pet or other creatures in watercolor, please contact me directly for information on classes.

2 thoughts on “Black, White & Sweet

  1. Oh Bivenne!!! I love this dog Brio!! You have brought him to life with your amazing artist’s skills. The blue against the black to show highlight and contour, the whiskers barely there. I just love it!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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