Step by step: Jasper

A painting takes a lot a planning out before it is started. Many spend days on a composition, colors and subject(s). Being that Jasper is a portrait piece, the only thing I am worried about is color and composition. I haven’t done a step by step in a long time, figured I should start doing it more!

Jasper s piece is about 80% completed right now. I’ll wrap it up this weekend. If you are interested in purchasing this piece email myself at or Lynda at Safe Haven at safehavenwildlife!

Jasper is an African Serval at Safe Haven Resuce Zoo, I also decided to be one of his sponsors. How could I not? His story is amazing and has a fantastic life with Safe Haven now. For more info visit Safe Haven’s website at


First I start off with the under painting. I chose to go with a neutral earth tone feel. The colors I have here are burnt umber, zinc white and slight amounts of cassel earth and burnt sienna. Here all I am doing is establishing the lights, mid tones and shadows. Keep the detail to a minimum.


The typical rule in colors is to work from dark to light. I work from light to dark. I like the way the colors blend this way. The under painting has since dried. I put a thin glaze over the under painting and started working in the lightest lights. I keep the paint thin still, using the fat over lean rule. Colors here are naples yellow, sky blue, zinc white and slight traces of burnt sienna and vermilion.


After the second layer has dried again, I put another thin glaze over the previous layer and start working. The details are slowly being worked in. Working with mid tones and lights here, I keep in mind to focus on more form here. Colors used here are naples yellow, vermilion, burnt umber, burnt sienna and sky blue. The background is also coming into view, using sky blue, paris blue and zinc white.


You guessed it, once the piece is dried another thin glaze goes over the piece. The paint is now slowly starts to thicken. Details are coming more into play now as well. The shadows are now starting to become more obvious. I go back and forth from darks to lights. I also decide to add in a little green into the background. Colors here are naples yellow, zinc white, warm grey, burnt umber, vermilion, sky blue, paris blue, cassell earth and sea foam green.


I put another thin glaze over the last layer and start to thicken up the paint. Spots and details are now my main focus. Here the piece is rounding the home run, which means it is a delicate and careful time now. The brushes I use are a lot smaller and each stroke is important. Colors here are cases earth, dioxide purple, zinc white, naples yellow, sea foam green and sky blue.

I will of course post the final piece when it is done. Should be wrapped up soon! Hope you enjoyed the step by step of Jasper.


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