Step one was the same as it always is for me: a few lines on board to give me a sense of direction and I started with the eyes:
and then I worked from left to right completing as I went.
Unfortunately, I was concentrating hard and forgot to take more photos after this one. It was a hot, sunny day and my paint was tacking up much more quickly than usual. Since softening the edges was going to be important I just cracked on with it and when I next looked up it was finished.
Having repeatedly tried to paint my pictures in a more conventional manner, working across the whole surface, massing in, moving forward from large masses to detail, it is this method that works best for me.
My subjects seem to come to life, to animate under the brush. Sometimes, when I have completed the face, the dog's expression seems reproachful, as if he is worried by the absence of his ears. So I put the ears on and his expression cheers up.
I always liked Geppetto when I was a child. Think I must have watched that film too many times: