I started by using acrylic graphs to enlarge the photo.
Once I had a light pencil outline of Louie, I painted over the outline with a pale wash of Cobalt Blue.
In the yellowish tan areas, I used a mixture of colors, mostly Burnt Sienna and Quinacridone Gold. If an area such as the inside of the ears seemed to need a red cast, I added a bit of Quinacridone Red.
For Louie's eyes, I used Quinacridone Gold, then Burnt Sienna. I made the black for the iris using Burnt Sienna and Cobalt blue. In a few places I mixed the Burnt Sienna with Ultramarine Blue. I reserved the white highlight in the eyeballs with Maskit.
Several times I traced over Louie's head with marker on tracing paper to be sure I was happy with the placement of the shadows.
I played around with the eyes for several sessions. Eyes are very important in any animal portrait.
My daughter suggested that the ears needed to be a trifle bigger. A line as slender as a sixteenth of an inch can make a big difference in getting an improved likeness.
You probably have noticed that the first layers of paint on Louie's face are Cobalt Blue. As I added more layers, I added Burnt Sienna to the blue to get Louie's black spots.
Louie's favorite blanket was red and gray striped. I simplified the pattern.
After I finished the blanket, I painted the final details of fur on Louie's body. The painting is 18 inches (45.72 cm) by 14 inches (35.56).