Tallulah the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dog Painting

This is a pet portrait of Tallulah, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog, which I completed on October 9, 2020. It is painted with acrylic paints on an 11″x14″ stretched canvas. This is a bit different than my usual style. The owner requested the natural coloration for the painting, which is best for dogs that have brown colored fur. There are still little pops of color here and there, and it has a very colorful teal background.  You can see a larger version of this painting in my Portfolio Gallery.

Tallulah photo vs painting

Above you can see a comparison to the original reference photograph and the finished painting. Tallulah is mostly a rich chocolate brown color with a white blaze on her chest.  she has very unusual coloring for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  Normally, this breed of dog is only brown as a brindle, but she does not have any brindle markings.  I kept the painting fairly faithful to the original photograph, but I did have to use a few additional photos to fill in missing details, since the bandana covered the markings on her neck and chest.

Brown is a hard color to replicate in a colorful style, as it really has no analogue.  Other colors are easier.  For example, black looks great as dark blues and purples, and you can still tell it is black.  White is the same, using light versions of those colors plus a few extra. Gray fur is similar to white and black, using mid range cool color tones.  Tan colored fur is basically orange, and yellow dogs are already yellow.  But brown is one of those colors that does not really look good as a full saturation colorful style.  The closest pure color would be red or magenta.  But in reality, orange is actually a dark orange, so it works best as its own standalone color. Here is a really good video explaining why this is the case.

Tallulah closeup

Tallulah closeup

I did still take some liberties and add little pops of color here and there.  The brown is actually many different tones of brown, with some undertones of red, orange, yellow, green, and gray.  If you look closely you can see all these undertones.  This affect was created by doing a base layer underpainting to establish the general tone, and then adding many additional layers to create depth and texture.  The brown colors are not “straight from the tube” paint, and are mostly a mixture of one brown color with some dark purple and orange, with a hint of magenta, and light yellow in some areas. The white areas were painted with mixtures of brown and light blue with white, in various shades and tints. The Staffordshire bull terrier’s coloration is generally warm, so it contrasts nicely with the cool teal background.

Tallulah 2017 vs 2020

Tallulah 2017 vs 2020

Tallulah’s portrait is the 20th pet portrait that I have painted so far this year. This is almost double the number of portraits that I painted in 2019 (eleven), and I still have many more to go this year! For those of who who may not know, this is the second time I have painted Tallulah. Hers was the very first pet portrait that I painted, in February of 2017. In face, it was her owner that got me into painting pet portraits in the first place. Comparing the very first portrait to my latest portrait shows over 3 years of progress in improving my skills and establishing my style. A big thank to you Tallulah and her mom for coming with me on this journey!


If you like this painting, and want one of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portraits page for more information on the process and pricing.


Tallulah throw pillow

Wall Art, Home Decor, and more in my online print stores.

The original is sold, but prints are available of this artwork in my online stores.  Please read below for more information.

For fine art prints, wall art, and other home decor products, please visit my FineArtAmerica Store. Here you can find many options for wall art, including giclee paper prints, canvas prints, and prints on metal and wood and acrylic. You can also purchase as a tapestry, throw pillow, fleece blanket, coffee mug, shower curtain, shirt, beach or bath towel, tote bag, zipper pouch, cell phone case, and face mask. Jigsaw puzzles are coming soon!

For other unique products visit my RedBubble Store.  There are many products in this store that are also available in the other one. In this store, you can choose from many apparel options that are available no where else.  You can also get die cut vinyl stickers, magnets, coasters, laptop sleeves, jigsaw puzzles, aprons, bath mats, wall clocks, floor pillows, acrylic blocks, water bottles, travel mugs, and pin buttons.