Before I show you my last Christmas pet portrait commission, I thought I'd show you Marie. I started Marie a while back, but put her aside when I got busy for Christmas. I picked her up again during the Christmas rush just to "break things up a bit". Plus, I was determined to finish her since she was such a game changer for me. Normally, I paint the subject to almost completion, and then I paint the background. Only with Marie, I sketched her out, and painted her background first. I learned by painting the background first, I "stay within the lines" of my original sketch, and I can do a better job of using the right tones to compliment the background (rather than going back and forth readjusting). I guess it's never too late to learn something new.