This colorful pet portrait features a vibrant painting of a yellow Labrador retriever dog named “Tupelo” in vibrant rainbow colors on a dark blue background. It was created with acrylic paintings on a 11″ x 14″ stretched canvas, and was completed on January 8, 2021. You can see a larger version of the painting in my Portfolio Gallery.
This painting in real life is much more colorful than can be experienced digitally. Even though computer monitors and cell phone screens are capable of displaying 24-bit color, with 16 million colors, that is still less than the number of colors that exist in real life. There are many colors that are poorly rendered on a digital screen, especially secondary colors like orange and purple. I used judicious amounts of fluorescent paints in this portrait, many of which cannot be accurately displayed on a screen. I find that of all the fluorescent colors, fluorescent orange does not scan or photograph accurately; however, other fluorescent colors, like green, yellow and even pink, seem to scan decently.
For this painting, I started with a base under-painting of pale yellow-orange, and added many layers of color over top of it. You can see all the colors used in the close up views above. The dog is a yellow Labrador retriever, with the colors of the dog being a bit darker yellow, almost close to red. This painting is actually a composition of two photos: the head portion is from one photo, and the body is from another. I do this frequently when I cannot find one entire photo to use as the reference, usually due to the position of the animal or the angle of the photographer.
This dog has an interesting name! Tupelo is a species of tree that is found throughout the sourtheastern United States. Honey made from the flowers of the tupelo tree is said to be among the best in the word, with a mildly sweet buttery flavor. “Tupelo Honey” is also the name of a Van Morrison song, which itself was inspired by the very same honey and flowers. It is a great name for this honey colored dog who is also as sweet as honey! Perhaps the owner is a Van Morrison fan! I wasn’t able to ask, as this portrait was a present commissioned by a friend of the owner, not the owner itself.
Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of dog in the United States. They are a gun-dog breed (sporting breed) which originated in the United Kingdom. The name of the breed comes from the Labrador region of Newfoundland, Canada. In the early 1800’s, the now extinct Saint John’s water dog was bred by European settlers in Newfoundland Canada, and these dogs were brought back to the United Kingdom where they were bred with local British hunting dogs to develop the Labrador Retriever breed. Labs come in three colors: black, yellow, and chocolate. They also come in two varieties: show-bred Labradors tend to be heavier-set than the field Labradors.
If you love this painting and want one of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portraits Commission Information page to learn about pricing and sizes available.