Painting custom commissioned pet portraits… my process!

I love painting pet portraits. It all started when I bought some alcohol markers and wanted to see what I could do with them. I bought a sketchbook with thick, smooth paper in it and drew a portrait of my cat Monty:montydrawingbestclean

I was thrilled with the result, and I became addicted to it! I love using the alcohol markers in a more traditional way. Most often they are used to create anime-style drawings, but I found that layering them delicately could create almost a watercolour effect.


Soon, I moved onto watercolour portraits as well as alcohol marker portraits; sometimes even combining the two. The above portrait of my late cat Boots has a watercolour background. For finishing touches, I often use black fine liner and white gel pen for details and highlights.

My process is fairly simple…


  • I draw from a photograph, first sketching in the rough shapes with either a mechanical pencil or an erasable coloured pencil.
  • Then I outline in black fine liner, rubbing out the pencil markings.
  • If I make a mistake, I use my light box to trace the good part and then fix the remaining parts before colouring.
  • Next up is the colour: be it alcohol markers or watercolours.
  • After I have built up the layers, I finish off with details using tools like fine liner pen, white gel pen or coloured pencils.


These are my latest commissioned watercolour pet portraits:


Watch me work on these two pet portraits in this week’s YouTube video:





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