This portrait was done as a rather belated Christmas gift to my in-laws. They have a rambunctious young black lab who goes by the title “The Dude”. He’s a local celebrity, having been born missing one of his rear paws. He is quite social and loves to make new fans.
For this portrait I really started working on the new style I have been visualizing. I still used colored pencil for the drawing, but I really didn’t want it to go down in heavy layers. This was a challenge because with Dude being all black, the temptation was there to keep on going until the black was really, really black.
Instead, I treated the colored pencil a bit more like I do the graphite, and just kept a lighter touch. It it still several layers, starting with the darker areas and slowly building up. I could have easily kept going, but reminded myself of the style I was looking for and stopped before the black became too heavy.
The brown eyes are quite dramatic against the monotone black of the fur, and perhaps in the future I would keep them a bit lighter, but I like the contrast, and it almost gives it the feeling of one of those black and white photos where a bit of color has been added.
Overall I am quite happy with the result!