I worked on Kato’s portrait just last week. I really loved painting his portrait, what a beautiful dog and the reference photo worked so well. It was a smaller square painting 25 x 25 cm in size. I decided to stretch the canvas myself as I can never get a pre-made canvas of that size. I do enjoy preparing everything from scratch. It gives the work a personal touch and gives me a chance to prepare for the creative process.

Kato, a portrait of a toy poodle, 25 x 25 cm, acrylic on stretched canvas

The painting was commissioned by a client in Cork. She wanted to give this painting to her partner as a gift. Kato sadly passed away recently and she wanted her partner to have something special to remember him by.

Kato the toy poodle, detail of the portrait

I worked with acrylics on stretched canvas as usual. Firstly, I created a line sketch with some yellow ochre mixed with small amounts of titanium white. I then added some basic colour blocks.

Initial sketch for the painting

I worked in layers of paint, overlapping shapes to create volume on Kato’s fur. His fur is very curly and voluminous him being a poodle and I wanted to capture this not by painting every single hair but by creating an illusion of it.

Colour blocking the painting

The client was delighted with the finished painting and sent me a lovely email:

Oh my god Ivana! That is fantastic. You are truly gifted. Thank you so much!!

Natasja, Cork, Ireland

I took some photos of the finished painting in my studio. The Ikea shelf is working really well for photographing work šŸ™‚

The finished dog portrait in my studio

I work on thin edge canvas, 18 mm deep.

A photo showing the side of the canvas

I took a photograph of the back of the canvas too to give you all an idea of how they look.

the back of stretched canvas for a portrait
Canvas back

I always add some promotional materials when posting portraits. These would include a couple of business cards and a thank you leaflet. The thank you leaflet includes some care instruction for your artwork. For paintings, I would attach a tag with my details to the back of the wooden support.

Finished portait before posting