Hunter – Colored Pencil Portrait on Smooth Paper

Here is the portrait progression of my recent colored pencil commission.

9″x12″ Bristol Smooth Paper with Prismacolor Soft Core Pencils

Approximate time to completion: 10 hours

Here is the reference picture with the portrait.


I hope you enjoyed looking through the images of this portrait progression.

Please contact me if you would like your own portrait.

Nutmeg -Colored Pencil Portrait on Smooth Paper

All the drawings start with a basic layout sketch.

I use an iPad Pro to reference the color photo.


I usually start with the eyes on a portrait.

Look at the different colors used as a base on the muzzle. 

I’ve started working in the bridle some here – take notice of the highlights on the leather. It makes it look like shiny leather. 
Here I’ve started to fill more hair and base colors. 
Notice the purple shading – you wouldn’t have thought purple was under there when you saw the finished piece, right?
Started filling in more hair and leather- shadows and highlights are the main focus. 
The owner didn’t want the sun bleached forelock so I needed to make it black with blue highlights. 
This shows just how many layers it takes to make the smooth color – I also use clear alcohol markers & odorless mineral spirits to blend the colors. 
I’m so close to completion at this point! By this time I’ve become quite attached to the artwork!

Finished portrait! The many layers of color create depth and make it realistic.

Star – Acrylic Portrait on Canvas 

Here is another post about the progression of a portrait. This time it is a hand painted acrylic portrait of a Choctaw Indian Pony, Follow The Star, affectionately known as “Star”.

This is the reference picture I used for the portrait. Clear, good quality pictures make it easier for me to see the details that make the portrait realistic.

This is the background color wash. It makes the colors warmer and the lighters colors such as white show up on the canvas. Different background colors can influence the painting overall feeling so it is something to consider when starting a painting. 

I painted in the background first so that I could paint the horse in front of it without having to worry about the brown background showing through on the edges. 

In this picture, I started adding in the darker shadows and started layering the different browns for his face. 

I started adding some highlights on his mane and face and filling in the eyes and nostrils. 

I have been slowly adding layers and more detail work as the colors are starting to look more finished and less transparent. 

I am adding more highlights and details. It can be a slow process at this stage in the painting but it is the smallest of details that make it realistic.

I’m adding highlights that will show through under the forelock. 

The forelock was the last piece of the painting!

Completed portrait! I love how this turned out! I feel like I could kiss his soft nose!
If you would like your horse’s likeness captured in a portrait, email me at or click here.

Thanks for reading!

Taylor @ Playful Ponyyz

Bae – Colored Pencil Portrait on Smooth Paper

Here is the progression of a colored pencil portrait. 

Subject: Bae, 3 year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Here is the reference picture I used to create the portrait. 

The portrait starts out very basic. 

Starting to add more definition to the face and eyes

Now for some work on the mouth! There are lots of shadows and highlights in the mouth. 

Adding some more shading and layers on the face and mouth. 

I’ve started blending the colors together as fur on her face. 

I used a colorless blending pencil, paper blender and alcohol marker to meld the colors together. 

Starting to add color and definition to the collar. 

Now for another tricky part – the curly hair of the CBR!

Here’s a look at all the colors I’ve used so far in this portrait.

More work on the curly hair!

Now I just need to clean up the stray marks. I used an exacto knife to scape the paper and a white pencil to rub the paper smooth again. 

Finished and signed!

Contact me at or click here if you would like a portrait of your pet!



artist & owner of Playful Ponyyz