Pet Portrait of a Mixed Breed Rescue Dog in Oil on Canvas

Lila is the second of a series of five oil pet portraits I did for a client who is giving them as gifts to her bridesmaids. They are the bridesmaids dogs - what lovely, thoughtful gifts, aren't they?  (For the first portrait of George, a Whippet, click here).

Lila is a sweet dog who was a rescue from the humane society as a puppy.

I'll show you a bit of how I painted her below:

The first thing I do is choose a reference photo, provided by the client, that will work well for the portrait. I focus on this one photo, but use others for guidance to see details or make adjustments.

Then I make a careful drawing of the dog's main features and transfer the drawing to a 5x7 inch canvas.

I like to begin paintings with the background so I paint an outdoorsy color with a broad brush. Lila loves to run around outdoors and I think this background will suit her.

Once the background is painted, I paint the dark areas of her fur adding highlights of light blue or brown depending on what I see in the reference photo (you can see part of it to the left).

Click any of the images to see them larger:

Here I'm continuing with strokes of color on the face:

I will block in the color roughly like this for all her fur, then add details to the fur:

Then I paint the nose and mouth. (The paint is still wet when I take the photos so there are little white specks of reflected light in the picture, but those will not be there when the painting is dry):

And finally the eyes:

After spending quite some time with details of the portrait, I lighten the background and adjust the color where needed to make the portrait stand out. Finally Lila is finished!

Dog Pet Portrait in Oil on Canvas - the finished painting
'Lila' - dog pet portrait in oils, 7x5 inches

Would you like a special painting done? I'm happy to take custom orders. Contact me for a custom painting of your pet, home, garden, grandkids, favorite vacation spot or whatever your heart desires.
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