Whippet Dog Pet Portrait in Oil on Canvas

It's a great feeling when someone who received one of my paintings as a gift likes it so much they ask me to do another painting.

This pet portrait was just that. The client had received a portrait of her dog as a bridesmaid gift. She asked me to paint her mother's dog, a beautiful Whippet named Ekeko.
She decides on a small 7x5 in oil. Read on to see the progress of this pet portrait...

Judging from the image below, it looks like I've found a new style of canvas called camo!

But no, I am using a canvas re-purposed from a painting I never completed. It takes a bit of sanding to remove the brush stroke textures and most of the paint. Some of the color remains, but it will not show and sanding makes the canvas surface smooth which is great for portraits.

Because the prior painting was oil, I can't gesso over it to get a nice white background (acrylic over oil doesn't work well). A pencil drawing is hard to see against the mottled color, so I use black ink to sketch the outline:

The easel setup you see above ↑ is the canvas affixed into an open foam-core box. When the painting is completed, I'll fold up and tape the box to keep the painting safe in shipping. (Click images to see them larger)

Now that Ekeko is drawn, I start painting the background a rich sienna brown. You can see the photo I'm using to the right:

I paint the sides of the canvas as well. Paper inserted behind it keeps the foam core box clean:

After the background, I paint the eyes because they are the same color:

Next I paint the face by making a gray/black from the same brown mixed with blue, white and red:

As I go, I adjust the background where needed. It helps make the portrait pop if the background is light against the dark parts of the fur and darker where the fur is white:

The details of the collar are next. The client lets me decide whether to include it or not. In this case, I feel the collar adds to the portrait:

Especially if I paint Ekeko's name on the license tag!

The finished portrait of Ekeko, a beautiful Whippet
"Ekeko" Pet Portrait of a Whippet - 7x5 oil on canvas

Hope you enjoyed the demo. Ekeko is a beautiful dog, don't you agree?

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.
To receive my posts by email, fill in your email address under FOLLOW BY EMAIL in the right hand column and click Submit. You'll receive my posts in your email inbox at the end of each day that a post is made.

No comments: