Maltese Poodle Dog Pet Portrait in Oils

Riley is a lovable Maltese Poodle - at least to his owner whom he follows around everywhere.  He is also 15 years old!

My client has a 7x5 oil portrait that I had painted of her dog, Lila, and wants a similar portrait of Riley to hang on the wall next to Lila's.

The photo she sent to the left is the one I will use as reference for a head and chest portrait.

It was taken from above which makes the chest look too small compared to the head. I will fix this in the drawing so it looks like we are seeing Riley at his level.
Read more to see how I painted his portrait!

The client has requested a blue background, so after sketching Riley on the canvas, I paint a soft blue around him:

Once the background is painted, I start on his fur. Blending his white fur into a wet background helps it look softer around the edges.

Riley is mostly white, but he has some pink and tan tones on his face. I paint the shadows with a violet gray:

The fur on his face is roughly blocked in. I will work on it more later, but for now, I'll complete all his fur:

Dark shadow tones are laid in first, then white will be painted on top:

Once all his fur is blocked in, I lighten the area around his mouth. The client asked me to eliminate the tangles of fur on his face, but she still wants him to look like himself. Riley has problems with his teeth and won't let anyone brush the fur around his mouth because it hurts. Poor thing!

Last, I begin to paint his features:

You can click the images to see them larger:

Eyes are next:

Now it's time to stand back a little to see how things look. Even though I'd originally decided to leave out his collar (Lila does not have one in her portrait), I think Riley could use a bit of color. His collar is blue, which will match the background...

 The client has left it up to me to decide, so I'll give it a go:

I like it!  I'll add his tags as a last detail...

and below is the finished portrait of Riley:

The finished portrait of Riley, a Maltese Poodle
Riley - 7x5 Oil Portrait of a Maltese Poodle

My client was happy and excited with the finished portrait. When it arrived, she hung it up with Lila's and sent me a picture. They look great together, don't you think?

Lila and Riley pet portraits
To see how Lila's portrait was painted, click here.

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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zoomer said...

I love seeing Lila and Riley portraits hung side by side. Both are such a beautiful paint work. I'm also happy that your client was so excited too.

Janet Zeh said...

Thank you Gizela. It's great when clients send me photos of their paintings. This one is especially nice since I can see how they look together.

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Janet Zeh said...

Stefan, best to subscribe to posts via rss as I am not at this time sending emails. Thanks!