A digital painting of a beloved pet German Shepherd named Adidas. You can buy this print at my *Redbubble shop.
Adidas was a great family pet. He had an unusually long snout for his breed despite him being a purebred German Shepherd. I tried to capture the beautiful orange colouring of his fur and the shine in his eyes.
I started with a quick and messy sketch using the photo reference that I took of him a long while back. I don’t spend too much time on the step because I like to work as quickly as possible and I don’t generally keep my linework anyway so this step for me can be really basic.
Be as detailed as you want to be here. Keep in mind whether you are planning on keeping the linework or removing it later.
Where you can, always use a reference for the form, structure and colour.
Fun fact: The German Shepherd was originally bred for herding sheep.
After laying down the base sketch it’s time to add some colour.
I’m using a photo reference which helps with colour choices as well as form.
Using the colour picker I found the right base colours with a lower saturation to help block out the different base colour sections using a soft edge brush.
I also used a speckled brush sparingly to give myself a sense of the different section of fur for use later on.
Fun fact: German Shepherds can learn simple tasks after only five repetitions.
Most of the time I like to start with the eyes to set a standard of how I want my painting to look.
After painting the eyes I moved on to the fur.
Using a speckled brush I mapped out the fur direction and used varied stoke lengths on the different parts of the head and neck.
German Shepherds were bred specifically for their intelligence.
Fur is a real challenge to paint. This fur wasn’t as hard as painting a white tiger but it was quite a challenge to get it right. I had to use lots of layers just to get variations of colour and length.
The image here shows the different layers that I used to make up the fur of the dog.
This painting took around 8 hours to complete in total. I had to keep coming back to it as painting fur in this way was quite tedious.
I used Photoshop, a photo reference and my trusty little Wacom Bamboo tablet.
Hope you enjoyed my process of painting a German Shepherd. Have a lovely day.
Like this post? Feel free to share on Pinterest using the fancy graphic below!