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  • Marissa Hitt

The Process of Our First Human Portrait & Pet Portrait Painting


Painting of small brunette girl holding golden doodle dog

It's exciting to share the finished painting of this darling duo (this is a mini milestone: these two make my first human & pet painting combination), but one of my favorite ways to celebrate this completed portrait is to go back to the beginning...



The Beginning


I have practiced with a few human portraits before, so I began this exciting commission with the same routine. Capturing the correct face shape through watercolors is important to me, so I sketched a portion of this portrait before I put paint to paper. Penciling in her hair helped, as it frames her face shape.


sketch of little girl's face

Erase & Paint


Taking an eraser, I removed my pencil's shading to start working with the watercolors.


sketch of little girl's face with brown paint hair


Sculpting Silhouettes through Pencil and Paint


After setting their silhouettes, I sketched out her ruffled top and started painting the precious pet's rust-toned coat. It was such a delight to illustrate a different take on the shirt that complimented the overall sweetness of the painting. I posted an Instagram Reel which showcases the step-by-step process in short clips.



The Project Turned Keepsake


Throughout this 13+ hour process, I continued to correspond with my amazing customer to ensure everything was falling into place. I worked in hour-long increments. During the early stages of this precious portrait, I emailed a photo of her sketched face, while one of the later emails I sent for this painting asked whether a pink top was preferred. Although "project" is a simple way to describe a commissioned portrait, being an artist is more than a profession, it is a lifestyle.


Each painting is made with intention, & it's a gift to create life-long keepsakes.

paintbrushes next to brunette girl portrait holding golden doodle dog


- Marissa


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