This is the start of the colored pencil work on this piece. It's definitely a learning process for myself and I hesitate to even post this because it has such a long way to go! But I think it is really helpful for others to see how a piece like this looks from early on. It will take much more layering, with additional colors to match the fur, before it really starts to look right. So, you will get to learn as I do!
As you can see, I am starting with just getting the fur pattern blocked in, along with the beginnings of shading, making sure I put my pencil strokes in the correct direction to follow the fur. This is very important to making a pet portrait look accurate. The fur contour gives form and shape to the animal's body underneath.