Painting PJ, Beloved Sidekick: Step-by-Step

In this post, I am going to share with you the entire process of creating this custom oil painting of a beloved sidekick in his favorite spot – step-by-step.

In this photo, you can see my client Russell receiving a Larry Gekiere-Artist Gift Certificate for his birthday. The gift certificate was earmarked for a custom oil painting of his beloved sidekick, PJ. Although Russell has three dogs, the only one who gets to ride shotgun is PJ.

Step One:Selecting the Right Photograph

It took us some time to select the pose we wanted for PJ. Russell wanted to have his friend in his usual place, where he sees him on the way to work on the front seat. That was a first for me. However, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

So when Russell and I selected the picture, the right pose for his custom oil painting was obviously PJ riding shotgun. I would paint PJ in his usual place in the front seat of the car going to work with Russell.

Step Two: The Drawing

The next step in the pet portrait after selecting the photo is to do the drawing that will form the basis of the painting.

Step Three: Wash

This is the first run-through of the custom painting of PJ. It is a ‘wash’ which defines the dark and the light areas of the final custom painting.

Step Four: Before Detailing

In this step, I am layering color into the painting. I’m not going for detail here, but rather for perspective.

Step Five: Closeup With Detail

In this closeup of PJ, you can see the little details I added to the portrait shown in Step Four.

Final Step: The Finished Painting

And here we have the final custom portrait of PJ – Russell’s sidekick in his usual spot riding shotgun with Russell. Check out his portrait in my Portfolio, along with the custom paintings of many other beloved companions.

I hope you enjoyed this walk-through of my process!

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