For the Love of a Good Dog

This beautiful girl is a dog that belonged to my watercolor guru, Louise De Masi. She gave us a lesson in using black watercolor with a painting tutorial of her. Sketching and painting this picture taught me a lot about black. I started off by using the lamp black that I had in my palette. I put on the first wash, then the second wash and it still looked dull and flat. I hated it. So, I took the advice of Louise and many other watercolor artists and mixed my own black. And oh what a difference! Now I could see depth, shadow, and reflection. The painting started coming to life. I was glad that I hadn’t given up and pressed on. Here is a quick video that demonstrates different ways to mix watercolors to come up with a pleasing black:

Paint colors used for this painting were winsor violet, burnt sienna, french ultramarine, lamp black, sepia, winsor lemon, scarlet lake, and permanent rose. To make the black I mixed Crimson, Phthalo Blue, and Winsor Green. I used white ink for the eyelashes, small hairs and whiskers.

I painted on hot pressed, 9 x 12 inch, 140 lb watercolor paper.

All in all, she was a pleasure to paint. I loved watching her eyes come to life. Sweet girl.

If you would like see a bit of the tutorial on how she can be painted, check out the video below:

For all the dog folks out there, give them a hug…for me.



      1. These paintings usually take me around 5 to 6 hours to finish. I try to work every morning about an hour or so before work. That works since they take multiple layers of paint. One layer can dry well and be ready for another layer the next day

Leave a Reply