Honey and Nuala

This is another one of the Christmas commissions. It is of two cocker spaniels called Honey and Nuala. The painting was 25 x 30 cm in size and painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. It was commissioned as a Christmas present for the client’s mother.


She was delighted with the painting:

I am lost for words, it’s the exact same as them. They are my mothers 3rd and 4th children she never had so they are her babys haha. She will love it. Thank you for all your work on it. It’s unbelievable how much it looks like them. She will love it, by far the best Christmas present I’ve ever got her.

The reference photos were very good with good lighting coming from the right.

Happy New Year

First of all I would like to wish all of you who follow my blog and enjoy my artwork a very Happy New Year 2017. I hope it is filled with motivation and good luck.

I was very busy this Christmas and there were a lot of commissions that were surprises so I had to keep away from the blog and deprive all of you of all the new work. But since everybody has since received their presents, I am allowed to post all of them here. I will do so over the next few days and I hope you will like them.

dalmatians coloured pencil drawing

I will start with Trigger and Archer. They are two long haired dalmatians, one chewing all the time, the other running all the time. It was quite a challenge for my client take pictures of them, but she managed to provide me with some really lovely photos. They look just beautiful here, patiently waiting for their command (or possibly just a treat:)). The drawing was drawn with coloured pencil, at 25 x 25 cm. I am including the reference photo too.


Isa and Darcy cavachons portrait

This is one of the many Christmas commissions this year. It is of two cavachons called Isa and Darcy. The painting is 50 x 60 cm in size and painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. I had lovely reference photos to work from for this one. It makes all the difference when painting. There was good lighting coming from the left and there was lots of detail in both dogs’s faces. I had a lot of work painting all the curls 🙂

painting of two cavachons

Above is a scan of the painting. I also took some photographs which show the light in the painting a bit better.

cavachon portrait painting - detail

cavachon acrylic painting detail

I took some progress pictures when I was painting. I am also including the reference photo I work from. The client was very happy with the result:

Hi Ivana ,
You have done a great job they both look so good and real ! Looking forward to hanging it up .

Three dogs portrait

I have completed this portrait a week ago. It is painted on two square canvases, each 25 x 25 cm in size. I worked on them both at the same time so they can be hung together. It was a surprise birthday gift so I waited a little with the blog post. I didn’t want to spoil the surprise 🙂

jack russell and chihuahua paintings

The dogs pictured are Puddles the Jack Russell on one canvas and Rizzo and Scuddles the Chihuahuas on the other canvas. I worked with acrylics on stretched canvas as usual. I am including some progress images together with some photos of the finished paintings.

jack russell chihuahua paintings

Meet Holly

I received this photograph from a client I recently drew a portrait for. Holly is the beagle sitting beside the portrait. It is lovely to see Holly beside her image in the drawing. I am including some photographs of the mounted drawing.

Beagle sitting beside her portrait

Beagle drawing in a mount
Mounted Portrait Drawing
Mounted drawing detail
Detail of paper and mount
Three dogs drawing in a mount
Finished drawing in a mount

Wedding portrait

This is a lovely wedding drawing of two sisters and brother. It was commissioned as a present for their parents. The reference picture I worked from worked very well (photograph is by Tara Aherne). I removed some detail from the background and made it a little lighter. It was a lovely portrait to work on, I wanted to capture the happy moment. I hope I did 🙂

wedding portrait drawing of three siblings

wedding portrait drawing

The portrait was drawn with graphite pencils on Fabriano paper, 35 x 25 cm in size. I used Faber-Castell graphite for this, 2B and 5B. I used to use 4B for most dark areas, but I have recently switched to a darker 5B as I am quite light handed when it comes to shading. It saves a bit of time as I don’t have to layer as much to achieve darkness. Below I am including some progress pictures together with the reference photo.

Holly, Buster and Casey

I finished working on this portrait yesterday and I scanned it today. It was a large one and I worked on it on and off for three weeks. The drawings take a while to take shape I find, but when they come together they are worth the hard work. I had good photos to work from which made the process much easier. The drawing is 30 x 60 cm in size and drawn on Fabriano 5 with graphite pencils. I used mostly 2B for the light areas and 5B for the shadows and blacks.

The three dogs are Holly (the beagle), Buster (the collie) and Casey (the terrier). They are all rescues and loved very much by their owner. I really loved working on all their portraits, they are just beautiful. I hope you all like the outcome 🙂 I am including some detailed pictures of each of the dogs.

three dogs portrait drawing terrier drawing collie drawing beagle drawing


Couple Painting

I finished this painting today. It is a lovely seaside view from Australia. This painting was commissioned by the lady in the picture as a wedding present for her husband to be. The painting is 20 x 30 cm in size and it is painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. The photo was just beautiful and the colours are very different to an Irish seascape. I wanted to capture the lovely deep reds and turquoise. Besides the usual burnt umber, yellow ochre and ultramarine, I used venetian red and cerulean blue for contrast.

Sam the Collie in the Donegal mountains

I recently worked on this lovely painting of Sam, a lovely collie dog with a backdrop of the Donegal mountains. The portrait was commissioned as a Christmas present for the client’s partner and Sam’s owner. Sam is no longer with us and I wanted to capture his lovely nature in the painting. He was a rescue dog and his owners were very fond of him.


Sam’s portrait -detail

I was given lots of reference photographs for Sam’s portrait so I had a lot to work from. One of the photos was of Sam in the Donegal mountains, and I thought it would make a really lovely background. The painting was 50 x 60 cm in size and painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. There was some fog coming over the mountains in the background and I decided to keep the painting quite soft to work with that. I am including a detailed view of the painting which I scanned and pieced together. Below are some work in progress images of the painting and a reference photo.


Chihuahua ‘Molly’

chihuahua portrait painting

This is the latest painting to come off my easel. I added some finishing touches to it today and scanned it this evening. The painting is of Molly the lovely chihuahua. It is 20 x 25 cm in size and painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. I really loved the reference photograph. Molly is sitting on a chair covered with a bright pink blanket. The pinks are reflected in her fur and I really wanted to capture this in the portrait. I concentrated most of the detail on Molly’s head, especially her nose and eyes. I hope you all like it.

I am also including some work in progress photos I took when painting. Up next is a portrait of three dogs at Ardgillan Castle in north Dublin.