Step by Step Watercolor demo of a pug dog

Pug Demo using two colors Step by Step Watercolor demo (Updated with demo download)

In this watercolor demo I paint a sweet little pug. There is also a free pdf download of the steps if you would like to print it out for later. I only use two colors to paint the pug and black is not one of them.

This painting was a commission I did of a pug named Stella. You can see just by the look on her face she is a sweet dog. I love painting pugs; their faces have so much personality. They are one of my favorite dogs.

Anyone that has followed me for any time knows that I am a dog lover and animal lover. I will stop and talk to any animal I see lol.

It doesn’t matter how busy I am, I just can’t resist taking a commission for a dog portrait. I get so much joy painting them.

Color Palette used for this watercolor Painting

I used a limited palette for this pug portrait. The colors I used for this artwork were:

  • Burnt Sienna (Winsor and Newton)
  • Ultramarine Blue (DaVinci)

Painting a Portrait of Pug Exercise

Step 1 – Blocking in the dark shapes

Pug dog step by step watercolor demo Krista Hasson

For this pug portrait, I drew my picture out on my paper first (not pictured). I started the painting by blocking in where the dark will be. I used the ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and a mix of the ultramarine blue and burnt sienna to get a cool black for the darkest spots. I let it dry completely.

Step 2 – Starting to add some shadows

watercolor pug demo weekly article krista hasson

I added some burnt sienna over the ultra blue of the dark areas. For the ears, I added some of the blue-black mixture to the inside Shadows. Using a dulled down blue, I added more to the outside bottom of the ear and the nose. I let it dry completely.

Step 3 – Glazing over the blue to make black

watercolor pug demo weekly article krista hasson

I darkened down the pupil of the eye with a layer of Ultramarine blue. I then used a very thin layer of burnt sienna to areas of the body and also over the top of the previous layer of ultramarine blue darks of this little cutie. I let it dry completely.

Step 4 – building depth with more layers

watercolor pug demo weekly article krista hasson

Here you can see how I refined the shape more, and I continued to deepen the darks. I did this by alternating very thin layers of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. I know you are thinking – why not just use the mixed blue-black everywhere? Using multiple thin layers builds depth and variation in your color, which makes for a much more interesting painting.

Step 5 – Reshaping the eyes

watercolor pug demo weekly article krista hasson

I added a thin layer of burnt sienna to the body to give it more color. I reshaped the irises and repainted them with burnt sienna. You can see where I lifted out some highlights on the face to give it more form.

Step 6 – Lifting out the highlights

watercolor pug demo weekly article krista hasson

To finish the painting, I darkened the face more and lifted out highlights in the eyes and nose. I also neutralized the blue Shadow under his face, some with a thin layer of burnt sienna. Don’t forget to download the free pdf above for this step by step watercolor demo!

That is, it, all done and with only two colors!

Thank you for reading to the end :).  I hope you enjoyed this cute pug portrait, step by step watercolor demo.



PS: Don’t forget to leave your comments below and sharing is always appreciated!

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12 thoughts on “Step by Step Watercolor demo of a pug dog”

  1. Going to give this a try. It looks just like one of my Pugs, Dolly Doughnut. I don’t suppose you have one of a black pug do you ? ?She is called Betsy Boo

    1. Hi Mary, I actually did paint a black pug years ago, I will look and see if I have progress shots. If I do, I will put it on my articles to do list. let me know how you make out :). I love the names, so cute!
      PS. My articles now get published on my other blog (just for watercolor)

  2. I will definitely give this a go. I do a lot of dog paintings and am in need of some practice with lighter coloured or white dogs. This tutorial is just what I need to start that exploration.

    1. Wonderful Brenda! I am so glad to hear that. Make sure you share a picture of it in the Watercolor Group 🙂

  3. Hi Krista. Love your pugs. You are for sure one of our finest talents.
    I would love to see you video a demo. Any chance ??

  4. Kurtis Ladner

    Hi Krista,
    I really like your approach to teaching. Very simple, yet very effective.
    You did a great job on the pug– and with only two colours!!

    1. Thanks so much, Kurtis, I try to only give you the information that you need at the time 🙂 I try to keep it straightforward and easy to digest. I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

  5. Thank you very easy to understand i am saving this yo have a try and see what i come up with thank you again

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