Rainbow Black Lab Psychedelic Pet Portrait

This colorful pet portrait, depicting a colorful Black Labrador Retriever Dog named Rocky, was finished on June 22, 2020. I was able to capture the steps involved in the creation of this painting, and made a video, which can be seen below. This portrait was created with acrylic paints on an 11″ x 14″ stretched canvas. I used vibrant rainbow colors in a semi psychedelic style, resulting in a dynamic and interesting portrait. A larger version of this painting can be seen in my portfolio here: Colorful Pet Portrait – Rocky the Labrador Retriever.

I first create a sketch from the reference photo. This sketch is transferred to the canvas using graphite paper. I then start with the background, blocking in the overall colors that I will be using.  Then I go back and add some elements to the background, like heavy brush strokes of varying colors to make it more interesting.  Fine hairs and details like whiskers are layered over the background, so it is important that it is finished first.

After the background is acceptable, I move into the pet.  I always start with the eyes, then move to the nose and mouth.  I feel these are the most important parts of a portrait, and complete these first before moving on to the rest of the painting. Then, I start blocking in the main features of the pet’s face. The dark areas (shadows) of the dog’s face are blocked in with dioxazine purple, and the lighter areas of the face are blocked in with light blue. The edges between the dark purple and light blue are neatened up by adding some fur line brush strokes.

Details are then layered on top. Many layers will go into this, and more colors are added at this stage.  Magenta, hot pink, green, medium blue, and some white are added until the desired effect is achieved. The same process is repeated on the body.

I sign the bottom, and the portrait is complete!  The painting will then dry completely for 2-3 days, then two layers of clear gloss acrylic varnish will be added.  This varnish protects the painting, as well as evening out the different glossiness of the paints. It also makes the colors more rich.

Please watch the video below to get an idea of my process.

If you are interested in having a psychedelic portrait painted of your own pet, please contact me! Visit my Pet Portraits Page for more information on pricing and sizes.

This artwork is also available in my online stores for sale as a fine art print and other merchandise.  Please visit my Pixels.com Gallery Store for fine art prints, canvas prints, and prints on wood, acrylic, metal, and tapestries. Also available in this store is home decor products like throw pillows, fleece blankets, coffee mugs, tote bags, cell phone cases, t-shirts and more.  Please visit my RedBubble store for other products such as stickers, coasters, socks, and other cool things.