I was recently commissioned to paint a portrait of a clients pet dog. It was a surprise 50th birthday present. They supplied me with several photographs for me to work from. All I had to do was make the most suitable selection. Needless to say, the recipient was delighted with the painting of his faithful friend.
I enjoyed the process of capturing the character of the dog so much that I decided to paint a portrait of Ed. Ed was our second German Shepherd who passed away last year. He was over twelve years old and was very much part of our family. Our grandchildren loved him. I think that it’s so important for children to grow up with pets.
I find that oil paints are the ideal medium to do Dog Portraits. Oils are much more forgiving than watercolours. Also, the pigment stays wet much longer. Oils allow you to push the paint about. It gives you the freedom to be loose and expressive with your brush marks. Being free and direct with your brush is very much in keeping with the subject matter. Dogs are rarely static. Lively, fluid strokes help to express their movement and character.
Commission a Portrait
My portrait of Brooklyn was quite a small study of an English Cocker Spaniel ( 10″ x 8″ ). Again, it was worked from a photograph. I used a limited palette of White, Yellow Ochre, Light Red and Lamp Black. I painted his collar bright red to add splash of colour adding further interest to the portrait. The customer was thrilled with their painting.
Having a pet dog or cat can be so beneficial for your physical and mental health. Research says that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. Apparently people with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those who don’t have pets. Dogs need exercise and so do humans. Taking your dog out for a walk twice a day is good for your physical health.
We’ve had two German Shepherds throughout our married life. Having a dog undoubtedly creates mess. However, they do provide so much joy and unconditional love. They become part of the family. It’s always sad when you have to say goodbye to them. Dog Portraits are a way of keeping their memory alive.