Blocking and first layer – Now that all of the groundwork is done, this is where the painting really starts! I’ll always make sure that I have all of the colours I need out and ready, to limit the amount of interruptions. I use a tear-off palette to put my oil paints on because you can’t wash the paint off a usual palette with water and a tear-off one makes cleaning up super easy.
When starting your first layer, thin the paint(s) with a small amount of turpentine so that it can dry quickly. With each new layer, you should then increase the thickness of the paint to add depth and richness.
Top tip! Always paint thick over thin paint. If you apply lots of thin over thick, the paint may crack – ruining your painting!
In this instance, I applied the lighter colours first, followed by the deeper, darker shades. This ensured that the lighter ones wouldn’t mix too much, ultimately to retain the outlines of the shapes.
Using Titanium White, I blocked out the areas of the belly and face, and followed this step by filling the honey-coloured areas of the puppy’s body with a mixture of Yellow Ochre and Titanium White. I also used soft shades of grey to create shadows, for a more three-dimensional effect.
The background was created using a blend of Titanium White, Prussian Blue and Naples Yellow. To apply colour to the darker areas of the puppy, I used a blend of Prussian Blue and Raw Umber.
Top tip! Avoid using black straight from the tube, as this can make your painting look very flat. Instead, try a mix of Raw Umber, Prussian Blue and/or Payne’s Grey, if you want a dark and cool-toned (blue) colour. Raw Umber, Prussian Blue and Alizarin Crimson will form a warmer-toned (purple) colour.
This layer should take about a day to touch-dry.