I did a buy one get one free special for snow dogs and sold quite a few commissions that way. Now I'm trying to catch up on all my orders.
Time taken: 2-4 hours per husky
Software: Adobe Photoshop 7
Hardware: Wacom Intuos2
Special stuff: Photoshop standard leaf brush & a special set of fur brushes as old as the software I'm using.
How: Sketch dogs freehand (I stuck very close to references given by commissioner on this one since I only got one of each dog and the top right dog's image was extremely small and grainy so it presented it's own special challenge - couldn't get too creative with poses or expressions at risk of changing the dog - since I have never met these dogs in person). Flat color paint, start adding detail, get rid of sketch layer, flesh out muzzle first, then eyes, then use fur brush to do the rest. Add important individual fur details with 4pixel brush like individual fur in ears, whiskers, eyes, etc to bring out the picture, and you can see details on my process from "Paint Like Me' deviation in my main gallery folder.