From light to dark

When painting my friend’s greyhound Shadow, I wanted to incorporate his name into the design.  To do this I decided to paint him as paler than the background on the left and darker than it on the right, so he seemed to disappear into the shadow.

I started with a background wash, which I textured with cling film, and painted his nose to get an idea of the darks.

From here I started working on face, making his right-hand ear darker to stand out from the background.  I then darkened around his jaw on the left, so it was darker than his face.

The initial planning was very important here, especially as in watercolours you work from light to dark.  That’s what makes it fun!