This was a small acrylic painting of Joey who was sadly hit by a car. He is missed very much by his owner who just celebrated her birthday last week. Her daughter commissioned this portrait as a keepsake for her mum. The client was travelling abroad at the time of her mum’s birthday so she asked me to send the painting directly to her mum with a little card. I took a picture of the wrapped painting and you can see it below together with some work-in-progress photos.

acrylic pet portrait

The client was very happy with the finished painting:

Hi Ivana! I absolutely love it!! And really think my mother will too! 🙂 🙂 Thank you so much, Grainne

The painting was the smallest size I work in, a 20 x 20 cm, painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. I simplified the background and added some red and blue shading to compliment Joey.


Meet Buster, the beautiful boxer whose portrait I completed before Christmas. The drawing was 20 x 20 cm in size and drawn with coloured pencils on paper. I used Polychromos coloured pencils by Faber-Castell on Fabriano 5 paper with 50percent cotton. The photographs the client provided were very good and we decided to keep the background in monochrome.

white and brown boxer drawing

I love Buster’s pose, looking over his shoulder. The client asked me to brighten his eyes a little in the drawing. The drawing was commissioned for her father for Christmas, Buster being his much loved dog. She was delighted with the finished portrait and wrote me a lovely email:

Hi Ivana, Oh my god it’s absolutely fantastic, it’s so realistic, given that you have never met Buster I can’t believe how true to character it is. I’m honestly so happy with it, I can’t thank you enough, it’s perfect….Thanks so much for all your hard work and dedication, you truly have a remarkable talent…..Aimee

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.


Lola and Bear

This a painting of Lola and Bear, two lovely pomeranian crosses. Lola is 13 years old and Bear is 12. Bear was the last puppy of Lola’s last litter. The client commissioned this portrait for her boyfriend who just loves them both. It was a present for his big birthday.

The client was very happy with the result and wrote a lovely email when she received the painting:

Hi Ivana,  Just to let you know I received the painting & it’s really fabulous, I love it. I know my boyfriend will love it too when he gets it for his birthday. Thank you so much. Eimear

dog painting acrylic

The painting was painted with acrylics on stretched canvas 35 x 45 cm in size. I took some photos of the finished painting. I am also including the client photo.

Two Collies painting


This is a painting I completed back in June. It is of two lovely collies. It was commissioned as a birthday present for the clients’ friends’ 30th. The painting was painted with acrylics and the size of the canvas was 30 x 30 cm. I kept the background quite simple to compliment the dogs. I added more detail around the dogs snouts and eyes.

Chocolate Labrador Painting WIP

chocolate labrador portrait work in progress

I have been working away on this portrait over the past week. It is almost finished, but I just wanted to post the first photo I took of the sketch. I am really loving working on this portrait. Well, besides the fact that I have my own chocolate lab, I just love the reference photo. Bobby looks so majestic here, and I want to capture this in the painting. The background I am using is from another reference photo the client provided me with, and it is a field where Bobby’s is often walked. The painting is 30 x 40 cm in size and I am hoping to finish it tomorrow.


jack russell dog portrait painting

This is the latest painting that was finished in my studio this week. It is of George, a lovely jack russell terrier. The portrait is painted with acrylics on stretched canvas 30 x 30cm in size. The painting was commissioned as a birthday present for George’s owner. I hope he likes it.

Next up I will be working on a wedding portrait in coloured pencil, something a little different.

Two German Shepherds

I have finished working on this portrait last week and scanned it just yesterday. I think it worked out very well. It has been a couple of weeks in the making and I took my time purposely. I don’t like to rush paintings, especially when they are larger in size. This portrait is 12 x 20 inches (30 x 50 cm). In the painting process, I started with a sketch using just raw umber, as usual. Then I worked in all the other colours, first loosely and then in the detailing. I used burnt sienna, burnt umber, a little yellow ochre, ultramarine, cadmium yellow and titanium white. I mixed my own black using ultramarine and raw umber with burnt umber. I hope you all like it…

two german shepherds portrait
Two German Shepherds – painting in acrylic

german shepherd portrait painting in acrylic
black german shepherd portrait painting in acrylic on stretched canvas

Prince the Golden Labrador

I have finished working on Prince’s portrait yesterday. It was sitting on my ‘done’ shelf for a day. I wanted to make sure Prince was captured as he deserved to be. I scanned it today and adjusted the scan on the computer to match the painting. Some of the fine detail got a little lost in the highlighted areas, but it is very close to the original. I hope the client likes it 🙂

I think the background has worked really well at the end. The warm grey is lovely against the yellows in Prince’s fur. For the painting I used burnt umber, raw umber, yellow ochre (a lot of it :), ultramarine blue, venetian red and titanium white. I always work with a limited palette as I feel it results in a more harmonious painting. But that is just how I work 🙂

Next up will be that promised painting of the two lovely German shepherds. I had to put it aside for a little while to work on paintings with tight deadlines. So please order with plenty of time before your deadline.

golden labrador portrait painting
Golden Labrador Portrait