Completed July 27, 2020, this is the colorful pet portrait of Buddy, the goldendoodle. It was painted with acrylics on 11″ x 14″ stretched canvas. The owner of the dog requested a galaxy cosmic background. This is the first time I have done this type of background specifically for a pet portrait. It creates a unique painting experience, while also being psychedelic and colorful. For the background, I used layers of dark purple with magenta, hot pink, and medium and light blues. This achieved the nebula effect. Then I added progressively lighter colors as stars, with pure white used as a highlight in the larger, brighter stars. The overall lighter and warm colors of the dog contrast nicely against the darker and cooler colors of the background. A larger version of this painting can be seen in my portfolio – Colorful Pet Portrait – Buddy the Goldendoodle.
Above you can see a close up view of the painting. From a distance, his painting has an overall “golden” tone, with lots of yellows and oranges. This in general matches the cream and golden colors of the actual dog’s fur color. Up close, though, you can see I actually used the entire rainbow worth of colors in his fur. Red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, purple, magenta, and everything in between was used for each clump of fur. This makes the painting more dynamic, and much more interesting than if I had only limited my color palette to a few colors.
In general, in choosing the colors I will use for a portrait, I try to select colors that closely match the real colors and tones of the fur. Then, I add splashes of other colors to bring depth to the painting, and make it more interesting. In the case of this goldendoodle, I chose mostly warm colors for the base color, and layered on many other colors that represent the shadows in the clumps of fur.
Here you can see the comparison of the painting with the reference photo. As usual, I used two other secondary references to fill in details that were blurry or missing in this main reference photo. The dog’s eyes were obscured by clumps of fur, and I chose to remove some of those so the eyes can be seen better. The dogs’ head was sharp and in focus, but the body was obscured by a hand, as well as being out of focus. Secondary photo references helped to fill in those missing details.
If you like this painting and want something similar of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portraits Information page to learn more. There you can get an idea of prices and sizes available, and see other examples of my work.
A print of this painting is available in my Online Print Store.