Well, I finally bit the bullet and decided to try a pet portrait!  Actually, I was asked by a local art gallery if I would be willing to do one for an upcoming art show featuring dogs.  The owner has asked 50 artists to each submit a dog portrait to be displayed during the July 28th show.  I couldn't turn that one down now could I?

     As it turns out, our daughter has the cutest little chocolate schnauzer pup now about 6 months old. Her name is Betsy and she is so full of life!  They send me pictures all the time of her antics and of course I have been known to take a few myself, haha!  Well, one of those pictures was Betsy's first trip to the beach.  Oh my!  The look on her face, in fact her entire body was pure joy!  That was what I had to paint.

     I sat down and sketched her on my sketch pad to see where I would place her on the canvas and in what position as I hadn't really painted dog portraits before.  Then I "measured" and transferred the sketch to my 11 x 14 canvas.  By measuring, I mean I used my pencil to compare her head size to body size, etc. to get all in correct proportion.  In this painting she is running toward you, so her head is actually half the size of her whole body.  In a side view that would not be the case at all.

     Once I had that down, I started painting in the background water and beach, and then Betsy's body.  Now, I wanted this to be a fun painting, so I didn't stick to correct colors.  Rather, I used bright colors to compliment and highlight, thus making her seem more fun.  I didn't go so far as to use pinks or outlandish colors, but I came close!  In the end, it came out just the way I wanted!.

     Betsy looks as though she is having the time of her life!  I have photos below to show the progress and the final painting.  I hope you like it.  I posted it on social media and got lots of great feedback, so I feel good about it!  Now my problem is that my daughter wants the painting and the gallery will not accept it unless it is for sale!  Can you tell I'm doing a second one??  Oh well, I can think of worse problems to have.  Oh, and I have already had two commission inquiries for pet portraits from my post!  Go figure.. is someone trying to tell me to do pet portraits?

          This is Miss Betsy Lou!  She is a hand full, but she has a zest for life and is lots of fun!

    I sketched Betsy as she looked in the photo my son-in-law took.  She was standing on her back legs with her hair flying in all directions!

 I painted the background and started working on Betsy.  You can see here that her head is large as I wanted.  She looks as though she is taking a flying leap which is fine, but I wanted her to look more like she was running.  And her eyes didn't look quite as joyful as I wanted.  So, back to work!

I haven't changed her foot yet, just refined her coat more.  I like the eyes better though and the water and sky are finished.  I went back and changed the position of her left leg to make it look more like she was running.  In the final larger painting you can see the bright colors better. She is dark chocolate, so the bright colors really add to the joyful look.  Also I made sure all her hair sweeps upward so as to give her a happy appearance & even the ears have an upswing, all part of the story!

11 x 14

     Below is the advertisement for the "Dog Show".  It benefits the Therapy Animal Coalition!

                           If you live in the area of North Florida, we'd love to see you!

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