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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Painting Dog Portraits

People a few years ago, seeing I did people portraits, started asking me if I would dog portraits in a hushed tone, as if painting dogs was very different from painting people.

Well, actually it's not. Yes you have to deal with lovely lush fluffy fur, moist wet eyes, and chilly shiny noses (on dogs not people), but I approach a dog's head portrait exactly like a person's.

Getting the structure of a dog's head is very important to catch the nature of the dog's breed. Getting the structure of a human head is the same. You can spot a likeness of a person from across the street in dim light oftentimes by the outline shape of their head.

Then I search for my 'point of view'of that pooch, just like with a human face. What are they feeling, what are they thinking. Who IS this dog? Who IS this person? What makes them different from another of their species.

Lastly, I just let myself have fun with paint with the tools I have learned over the years once the block-in is set. How 'wet' can I get that nose to look with my paint, how 'fluffed out' can I make those furry edges.  And don't forget those eyes. Your guess who I am talking about here!

Eyes are the windows to the soul in all species but especially in a dog. How many times have I melted into my own dogs' eyes.

Here I post a few recent dog commissions including the block-in start of a new one shipping to the U.K.  I am going to have a hard time parting with it. I feel I made a new friend. Woof woof.

Fresh off the easel
The block-in

















2 comments:

Reproduction oil painting said...

Great art.

johanna spinks said...


Thank you for your kind words Repro Oil Painting.