Kukla and Paddy animal portraits

Kukla, Portrait of an African Grey Parrot; 10 x 8 inches watercolor on artboard by Marlene Lee
Paddy, Portrait of a West Highland White Terrier, 10 x 8 inches watercolor on art board by Marlene Lee

Love doing these animals especially the parrot. I’ve never done a parrot or any bird. But I painted them like I paint the furry animals, close attention to the structure of their heads and to the textures. With Kukla, I used lift the color with semi-dry stiff brush to create the ends of the feathers. It was a great challenge!

To commission a portrait visit my Etsy shop. I offered pet portraits in either oils or watercolors.

Texas Sunset

Texas Sunset, 5×7 inches oil on cradled wood 1 1/4 inches thick by Marlene Lee

My sister sent a photo that she took of the beautiful sunset that she could see from her home in southeast Texas. Simply breathtaking. I’m afraid that I didn’t do the sunset scene much justice; I wished I could had been able to paint this in person.


A delightful little chihuahua mixed. The little smile is a killer.

Dabs, watercolor on 10 x 8 artboard by Marlene Lee
Dabs, graphite on 12 x 9 inches paper by Marlene Lee

I often find the doing a pencil drawing first helps me to get into the “mood”.


Turk, oil on canvas panel, 9 x 12 inches by Marlene Lee

This is Turk. He is a dachshund and just loves the water.

Interested in a portrait of your pet? Commissions can be requested in my Etsy shop, Paintings by Marlene. I can do portraits in either watercolor or oils. I usually take about a month to finish up an oil portrait. Maybe two weeks for watercolor.


Calvin, 10 x 8 inches on watercolor art board
First stage, the first layer of paint

When I start on a pet portrait in watercolor, I like to begin with a complete pencil drawing. This helps me to see more of the cat’s features and to understand the planes of its face and more importantly the values shifts across the head. Once completed I may use the drawing as a basis for the watercolor. I would xerox and enlarged to fit into the 8 x 10 format for a watercolor pet portrait. And then pencil trace the image onto the watercolor art board. From there it’s all about color.

Interested in a watercolor portrait of your pet. Click here to visit my Etsy shop for samples.

Urbansketching at the Manetti Shrem Museum

Let’s Draw Davis sketchcrawl group met in front of the Manetti Shrem Museum located on the University of California, Davis campus. Students are back and many had shown up to sketch. I was able to captured a young sketcher while chitchatting with another sketcher. While sitting at the entrance way of the museum, I sketched this metal sculpture and the receptionist inside. Later, the receptionist was curious of what I was doing so I showed her the sketch and she loved it enough to take a photo of it.

Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook

Along my walks

There are so many areas where I take my walks. Some of the areas are through the Davis Cemetery, along the bike path near Nuggets Soccer Fields and along the University of Davis, California. The season is changing and so many places to put to paint.