Here is my handsome chap coming along. With a dark animal it is very important to look through the detail at the shapes and lighting. See where the light hits the facial features - it's these highlighted areas that will ensure a 3d quality to your work. Here my highlighted areas range from a very pale bluey / pink tone through to darker lilacs and clarets, these colours are picked up from the brown tone of fur parts and the blue black areas. It may at first feel unnatural to use these colours as your mind tells you that the animal is 'black' but trust your eyes :) by the time I'm finished he'll be multicoloured I'm sure!
His eyes are a green/gold colour with faint deep reds in the shaded areas, as I start to fill in colour around his eyes they are really starting to 'pop' which I'm very excited about as it will balance the bright backdrop. He has short velvet / carpet type fur so brushstrokes are short and stubby in some areas. I apologise for the photo it's a rather awkward colour to photograph :)