Step-by-Step: Paw Pals

The creation  of a commissioned work

Okay, so this isn’t the usual sort of commission, but when you have an adorable three year old niece who begs you for a picture of Skye from Paw Patrol, why can you say? So I thought I’d use this to give a brief look at the process, from initial sketch to completed colored pencil image. This was rendered on textured colored sketch paper using an expensive set of Crayola Coloured Pencils 24. There's a limit to how refined the end result can be -- and I don't profess to be a great artist by any stretch of the imagination.


Of course, I could have rendered it in a computer paint program and printed it out, but that's not what my patron wanted. Besides, I always like my work to look like it's drawn or painted and not like a photo or CGI. Quite simply, I prefer art that looks like it has been done by hand and has a certain degree of roughness and imperfection to it, rather than being too realistic (or looking as if it came out of a computer).


Don’t get me wrong, I’m in awe of the drafting skills of artists who can produce a painting so accurately that it is almost indistinguishable from a photograph. But other than the technical prowess it demonstrates, I’m not sure I see the point. You could just as easily take a photo. And perhaps in a bit of an ironic twist, we now have paint programs and photo-editing software that enables you to take a photograph, pass it through a filter, and end up with something that looks as if it had been painted by Monette (which some might – perhaps facetiously – argue renders artists obsolete). Ah, the wonders of technology.

Step one is a rough pencil sketch on colored paper.

Step two is cleaning up the sketch a bit and hardening and refining some of the lines.

Step three is the first application of color and some adjustments to the sketch.

Step four is filling in more color.

Step five continues the coloring and the application of some shading.

Step six is more shading and the addition of highlights

Step seven is the application of a background. Nothing fancy or too detailed, because Skye is the object of attention in this picture.

The Final Product

Step eight is the finished product for one happy little three year old (and that’s worth more than any amount of money). All done with an inexpensive set of Crayola Coloured Pencils and a piece of paper.