Time Required :
About an hour
Intermediate
Intermediate
You're somewhat experienced with the skills necessary to complete this project, but you haven't mastered all the elements, yet.

puppy portrait

Who’s a good doggo? Yours, of course! If humans rate a portrait, then so does your sweet pup! We’ve teamed with Bluprint™ to show you how to make a fun and easy painting of your dog – or any much-loved pet. Just check out our video and instructions for all the tips you’ll need!
Step 1

First, find a great photo of your pet, re-size it to fit your canvas, then print it out. You can paint your cat, bird, turtle or fish, too! All pets deserve their own special portrait, no matter the species!

TIP: Since this is a portrait, choose a photo of your pet that’s taken from the shoulder up and focuses on their adorable face. This will be easier to paint than a full-length photo.

Step 2

Next, place a sheet of tracing paper on top of your photo, then use a pencil to trace over the main contour lines of the picture. Draw your pet’s outline and trace some of their fur (or scales or feathers). Trace over key features, like their eyes, nose, mouth and tongue. Don’t forget to add other defining characteristics, such as ear spots and stripes.

TIP: Remember, this isn’t about trying to make an exact copy of your pet’s photo. You’re just making your own creative interpretation of their face. Don’t worry about making your portrait perfect.

Step 3

Now, you’re going to transfer your drawing from the tracing paper to your canvas, so you’ll need to cover the back of your tracing paper with graphite. To do this, take your pencil and hold it at a 45° angle. Working from various directions, scribble over the back of the tracing paper, until the area on the opposite side of your contour drawing is covered with graphite. 

TIP: You might prefer to skip this step and just slip a piece of graphite paper between your tracing paper and the canvas (graphite-side down), then proceed with Step 5. Need some graphite paper? We’ve got some right here.

Step 4
Flip the paper over and tape it on top of your canvas. Your contour outline should be facing up and the graphite-covered side should be in direct contact with the surface of the canvas.
Step 5
Use your pencil to re-draw all the contour lines of your outline, applying a moderate amount of pressure. This will transfer your drawing to the canvas.
Step 6
With your black paint pen, draw directly over your contour lines, then let the paint dry.
Step 7
Next, choose a color (or two, or three!) and paint in the background around your pet’s outline. Apply the paint in a thick layer and use it to reflect your pet’s personality or to coordinate with your décor.
Step 8

Time to paint your pet! Begin by blocking in the darkest areas of your drawing.

TIPS:

  • Don’t worry about perfectly matching the colors of your pet’s photo! It’s more important to match the value (that’s the color’s relative lightness or darkness) than the actual color of your pet.
  • Here’s a handy rule of thumb: Simplify your painting into (roughly) four color fields: dark, mid-dark, mid-light and light tones; then select a paint color to match each field.
  • Don’t be afraid of color! Fun hues such as purple, pink, blue and red add character, depth and dimension to your artwork.
Step 9
As you work, brush your paint strokes in the same direction as your pet’s fur (or scales or feathers!).
Step 10
Now, it’s time to paint in some white highlights, which are the last little white touches that you see in the portrait. You can add them to the eyes, nose, teeth and fur.
Step 11
Once you’ve added highlights and your paint has dried, finish your portrait by re-drawing over the original contour lines one more time with your black paint pen. This will give your painting a fun, pop art effect. What a charming portrait!

Share your project photos with #MakeItWithMichaels 

Materials

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  • 845162822
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    Item # 10672808 
    $27.99
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    • Size: 24" x 36"
    • Size: 24" x 36"
    • Size: 24" x 36"
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    Item # 10063419 
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    • Size: 9" x 12"
    • Size: 9" x 12"
    • Size: 9" x 12"
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    Item # 10370013 

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    • Color: Black
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    Item # 10327070 

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    Item # 10122057 

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  • Photo – Dog or Other Pet
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