Painting Process

People have asked me about my process for pet portraits and I often do the steps without thinking, but I want to share and enlighten you on how I start my paintings. On white canvases I start by creating a sketch with a neutral color, mixed with stand oil. Then I use transparent hues (Indian Yellow for under whites and Sap Green for underpainting grass) to block in my entire painting surface (see picture). I love how the transparency allows the paint I will lay on top to shine and become more three-dimensional. This is one thing I love about oil paints!


The areas not yet blocked in will be black; not just pure black, but a mixture of Alizarin Crimson, Thalo Blue, and Dioxazine Purple, maybe along with some other unnamed colors. They’re classified!

This slow build-up of colors allows the painting to become richer and more vibrant. I think transparency is the only way to be! Trust and dedication come through transparency. Many would do well to heed this advice in their lives. We can truly be ourselves when we are open and honest on a personal level.

If you are interested in my pet portraits, see more at Pet Portraits by Rachel.



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