Dog Pet Portrait of a White Schnauzer Poodle Mix in Oil on Canvas

I had an opportunity to paint a cute little dog for a client a couple of months ago. Her mom has a Schnauzer/poodle mix who is the sweetest little boy you can imagine. My client gave her mom a portrait of him as a birthday gift.

It's fun to paint little 7x5 pet portraits! Keep reading to see the steps and the finished piece:

Whenever I paint an oil commission, I first affix the canvas into a foam core box like the one I make for shipping wet oil paintings.

Once the canvas is attached, I tuck strips of paper around it so I don't have to worry about paint getting on the box. When I paint the canvas side edges, it can get messy: 

The background colors are roughly blocked in, so now I use a neutral tone to shade the dog. Painting the shading first helps to see where the shadow side is especially when the subject is white (because white paint on a white canvas doesn't show up - only the shadows do!):

Over the shading, I paint fur details. I use warm colors such as pale yellow on the sunlit side and cool colors like blue on the shadow side:

The black of his nose and mouth are next. Lighter gray highlights create rounded shapes:

Eyes are next. There is a tiny white highlight on the sunlit side. I also add more details and soften the fur:

His pink tongue is last:

After everything is finished, I remove the strips of paper and voila - a clean background! I like how it looks when the image wraps around the side, don't you?

The painting completed with the strips of paper removed
Bertie Pet Portrait - White Schnauzer Poodle Mix - 7x5 Oil on Canvas

Bertie's foam core box is ready to be taped together and inserted into a mailing box for a safe journey to my client:

The finished portrait getting ready to be shipped.

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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