I painted this painting once before from a photo I took years ago of our friends' pug. It was such a natural for a portrait that I had to paint it again. (Turned out almost as good as the first one, by the way.) I took a few photos showing some of the process. All told, this painting took a couple of hours.
First step was to do a quick sketch - I wasn't concerned with details, just the placement of the major parts of the portrait. As you can see from these photos, I was using a photo on my computer as reference. This works fine for small paintings, but large paintings just don't fit in my little computer room. Second step was to block in the painting. I usually like to start with dark areas, as in this painting, because I know I will be applying several layers of color, preventing the shadows from becoming dead areas in the painting. And then comes the fun part - step three, if you're keeping score - I quickly block in the rest of the dog, repainting all the lines as I go, so as not to lose them.
And in between the third step and the final painting, I sprinkle a little fairy dust and turn around three times and viola! The finished painting: "Pug Mug," 20x20" $250 - One more painting down on the road to Art Market.