Pug Painting - Oil on Canvas Pet Portrait

Puggies! I have a local order to paint two pugs in oil. This is the first opportunity I have had to paint this breed.

Horton and Grommet  were full of energy and life when I went to their house to take photos. Visitors always make them lively it seems. Once outside, they ran round and round the yard jumping and chasing each other.

I had a nice chat with their owner while we waited for them to settle down. The two pugs have darker faces than most pugs. They look so much alike that I wondered how she can tell them apart! The secret is in the wrinkles. Horton has forehead wrinkles that give him a worried look and he is playful and silly. That I could see.

Grommet (above) is Horton's older brother. He is the serious one. Ha! That I didn't see.

Once tired, they sat down on a huge rock and I took photos. I combined two of the photos to make a composition for their portrait. In this post, I'll show you how I paint Grommet. You can read more to see the demo, or click here for the finished pug portrait.

First, I draw the two dogs on 11x14 inch canvas (Grommet is on the left), then I rough in a background in pale blue. I'm thinking I'll add some foliage behind the dogs later on depending upon how things go.

Since I'm right-handed, it's easier to paint from left to right. Using a flat brush, I block in Grommet's coloring using white, blue, brown and crimson paint to mix black and grays for the face and ears:

A bit of yellow is added to my mixes for the lighter fur:

The partially painted face is below - so far all is done with a wide flat brush:

I switch to a smaller flat brush to paint details and soften the fur:

Before painting too many details,  I check to be sure all Grommet's features are aligned correctly. For instance, his mouth, chin and jawline are too low, so I re-paint them where they should be. I spend as much time as it takes to adjust color and shading until I have a good likeness:

Grommet - pug oil pet portrait
"Grommet" Pet Portrait of  a Pug in Oil on Canvas

Once I'm satisfied with Grommet, I test out some foliage with quick strokes in the background. Oh yes, this looks just right. The dogs obviously love their outdoor time, so an outdoor setting will be perfect for them!

Thanks for stopping by to see the demo. Next time, I'll paint Horton with his funny wrinkled forehead.

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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