Ollie's Poodle Portrait in Progress

I'm working on my portrait of Ollie and Sabrina. This is my most recent work on Ollie:

Poodle Dog Portrait in Progress

I still need to make some adjustments to his nose and paint in his collar. Click below to see the steps leading up to this point in the portrait:

I've got a copy of the original photo taped onto the canvas next to my working area, so I can check the reference photo easily without straining my neck.

Ollie has a lot of cool colors in his coat, so I started with an underpainting of purples and blues. I kept the paint thin and added blending medium to slow the drying time.

Next, I started mixing in some opaque greys to show the fur texture. I painted in his eyes and the edges of his face.

I used a small brush to work in the detail around his nose, eyes and ears. I added highlights in his fur with white.

Next, I'm going to paint in Sabrina next to him and then bring in the background. I'm going to put a different collar in the painting than in the photo, so I've left it out for now.

Side note: Like many artists, I'm left-handed, and I still have trouble keeping from dragging my hand through the paint while I'm working. Next to Ollie's face you can see some paint prints from the side of my hand. I'm always glad that I can paint over top of errors when this happens - this is one of the great advantages of working in acrylic on canvas.