This painting is of a black and white bicolor dog named Pumba. It was completed on November 13, 2020, and was created with acrylic paints on a 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas. Pumba is a large black and white bicolor (or piebald) mixed breed dog, with Great Dane or mastiff type features. You can see a larger version of this painting in my portfolio gallery.
This final painting was a composite of two separate reference photographs, one for his head and one for his body. It is fairly common that I will not use a reference photo exactly as it is, but instead I will often composite from multiple references. The reasons for this vary, and you can read about it in my blog article on why more reference photos will result in a better portrait.
The person who commissioned the portrait really loved my “rainbow confetti” background style, which is a new style that I came up with earlier this year. The black and white bicolor pattern of the dog contrasts nicely with the rainbow background, and does not look to busy. The black areas of the dog were created with multiple layers of purples, blues, and greens, with some magenta and hot pink. I wanted the shadowed areas above his eyes, around his cheeks and on his ears to be as dark as possible. I mixed a bit of black paint with dark purple for those sections. The eyes were left their natural color. The white areas of the dog’s fur was created by layers of very light blue, purple, pink, green, and yellow. This gives some depth to his fur and adds shadows to the white areas.
My style is somewhere in between impressionism and realism, disregarding the color schemes. Some artists create photorealistic artwork, where they capture every hair and use realistic colors, and the result is very close to a photograph. Other artists use broad brushstrokes and less defined boundaries to create impressionistic works. I am somewhere in between. I use wide brushstrokes to give the impression of fur, but also take care in adding a lot of details to their facial features, such as the eyes, nose, mouth, and whiskers. This makes for very unique pet portraits, in a style I call “colorful realism”.
I really enjoy painting animals that have black or white fur, because I can use almost any color and it will still give the impression of their actual fur color. I am really developing my style, and becoming more bold about putting lots of colors in my paintings. My early dog paintings were a bit more reserved, but I have gotten more comfortable with using lots of bold colors, and including more wide spectrum of colors in my works.
If you like this painting of Pumba and want one of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portrait Information page.
Although the original painting has been sold, this artwork is available in my print stores online as wall art, home decor, gifts and many other cool products. Please visit my fine art store to purchase this artwork as a print and more.