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For many years I worked almost exclusively in acrylics, and to date they remain my primary medium. But like most artists, the urge to try new things is always there. Oils were perhaps the last medium I got around to trying. They intrigued me greatly, but I also knew they were very different from acrylics, and required a completely different way of painting - one that involved a whole lot more patience, something that isn't always my forte! I first tried the oils by doing a little 4" x 4" painting of Zack as a puppy, which can be seen on the Artist's Collection page. After that turned out all right I decided to tackle a larger and much more detailed project. And so, for my second oil painting I did this 8" x 10" of our dear Alaskan Malamute, Tigger, who had died quite a few years earlier. For many people 8" x 10" is still incredibly small, but as I'm so used to painting small it felt HUGE! As I began the process I decided to document it, photographing it after each stage in painting, as I set it aside to dry beforethe next stage. And so, here is a step-by-step pictorial of the painting from start to finish.

First, the finished painting:

Tigger Oil Painting

And now, from the beginning:
Tigger Oil Step 1 Tigger Oil Step 2
The initial sketch drawn on the gessoed masonite
(the darker spots are just shadows in the photo)
Roughing in the basic shapes and colours
Tigger Oil Step 3 Tigger Oil Step 4
Adding in the trees in the background, and a bit more work on the facial features and markings
More work on the background trees and snow, and getting into the detail on the dog, starting with nose and mouth
Tigger Oil Step 5 Tigger Oil Step 6
More detail work on the face, continuing back from the mouth to the eyes
And continuing back further to do the ears and starting down the neck

Tigger Oil Step 5 Close-up Tigger Oil Step 7 Close-up
Showing close-ups of the face as the detail progresses
Tigger Oil Step 7 Detail
And an ultra close-up of the eye area detail
Tigger Oil Step 8 Tigger Oil Step 9
Continuing detail work on the dog down the neck and into the back
Tigger Oil Step 11
I noticed that Tigger's ears were a bit lost against the dark cedars in the background, so I lightened them up a fair bit. Lastly Tigger's whiskers were added, then the painting was signed, and done!