Grouse with landscape

I worked on this painting a couple of weeks ago. It is of a springer spaniel called Grouse. He is a much loved family pet and the client has commissioned his portrait as a Christmas present.

The painting was 30 x 30 cm in size and painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. I added a landscape background the client chose. This worked really well I thought. It added some depth in the painting and I could really push Grouse to the front.

springer spaniel dog painting

I took lots of photos when I was painting and of the finished portrait.

Two Paintings – Henri and Shadow

This is a project I worked on in August. It is of two lovely dogs called Henri and Shadow. Henri passed away and his owner misses him terribly. He was a jack russell terrier. Shadow is a shetland sheepdog. The portraits were commissioned as birthday presents for the dog owners who are twin sisters. The whole family have decided to surprise them with the paintings. The portraits were the same size of 40 x 40 cm and painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. I worked from photos provided by the clients.

dog portrait acrylic

The reference photo for Henri’s portrait was his owner’s favourite photo and the client was very keen to include the basket and blanket in the portrait. We opted for a simple shaded background as there was a lot happening in the painting.

sheepdog acrylic painting

Shadow’s portrait was adjusted a little more from the reference photo. The clients wanted a landscape background because Shadow loves his walks. I added some out of focus trees to the back and a grass meadow.


Ruth and Yogi

lady and dog painting detail This is the latest family portrait I completed this month. It was 60 x 60 cm in size painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. It captures the client’s wife and her beloved shepherd dog Yogi. She is an avid horse rider and brings Yogi with her when riding. The client, her husband, wanted to give her something special for their wedding anniversary. He was very pleased with the result. Because the canvas was quite large, I took photographs instead of scanning it. Unfortunately, they don’t do it justice when it comes to lighting and colour. I matched it as well as I could, but a lot of the brush strokes are not visible in the photo.
woman and dog portrait painting

client reference for a photo
client photo

Lucy and Cody

I completed this portrait last week. It is of two brown and white springer spaniels named Lucy and Cody. Lucy, Cody’s mother, is on the left and Cody is on the right. This portrait was commissioned as a present for the client’s partner. It is 50 x 50 cm in size and I worked with acrylics on stretched canvas. I used larger brushes for this portrait to create a looser painting with some expressive brush strokes. Smaller brushes were then used for the details on the dogs’ faces. I scanned the painting and I am including a detail of each dog.

two springer spaniels painting

springer spaniel portrait detail

springer spaniel painting detail

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.

German Shepherd Portrait

I have finished working on the latest portrait today. It is of Zeus, the lovely german shepherd that I have been working on for the last few days. It is 25 x 35 cm in size painted on stretched canvas. I just love his majestic pose and I wanted to capture that in the painting. The background was left out of focus for Zeus to pop off the image. I used raw umber for the base as usual and then worked in ultramarine, burnt sienna, yellow ochre and titanium white to flesh out the painting.

german shepherd portrait in acrylic on canvas
Portrait of Zeus the German Shepherd