Author Archives: Rebecca Wang

About Rebecca Wang

Rebecca Wang is a traditional artist who uses acrylics and pastels to create colorful and energetic animal paintings.

Vibrant Black Labrador Retriever Dog Pet Painting

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.

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.

Colorful Hamster Portrait Painting

This is the very first hamster painting that I have done! Completed on June 10, 2020, this is Tumbleweed, the golden Syrian hamster.  The portrait is an acrylic painting on a 8″ x 10″ stretched canvas. It was really fun paining this hamster, and I hope I get to paint more critters besides cats and dogs in the future!

Tumbleweed hamster closeup

Tumbleweed closeup

The above picture is a close up view of the painting, showing off the colors and details. Even though the hamster is mostly orange and white, I used a full rainbow of colors to depict her.  I used fluorescent red, fluorescent orange, and fluorescent hot pink in the creation of this painting, which is very hard to tell from this scan.  The real life painting is brighter and more colorful, believe it or not!  I like to include some fluorescent paints in my paintings as I feel they help to enhance some colors and really make them pop.  Fluorescent orange looks so much more intense and pure compared to a typical orange paint, such as the cadmium orange that I used here.  Unfortunately fluorescent colors do not really scan as they really are; even with 16 million colors in the display, there are still colors which a computer monitor cannot display.

Hamster Painting and Photo

Hamster Painting and Photo

In the above photo, you can see the original reference photo in comparison to the painting. The original photo was very small, and there was a lot of compression which made seeing details difficult.  However, since my style is less realistic and more impressionistic, this photo was an acceptable reference to use.  I could see well enough the features of the hamster as well as the markings.  The lighting was good enough that there are areas of shadow and highlight in the fur. A few minor changes were made from the photo.  The ear on the right was adjusted to be facing forward, and the eyes were made slightly more rounded.  These are minor artistic details which do not change the hamster’s appearance.

For the tan areas, I used mostly warm colors (red, orange yellow, and the fluorescent versions of those colors too). Some brush strokes of blue and green were added to add some pop.  The white areas are creamy yellow, blue, and purple, with some teal and green.  The background choice of mostly cool colors was made to be in contrast to the predominantly warm colors of the hamster.

If you love my art style, and want a painting of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portraits Information page for pricing and details.

This artwork is also available as a fine art print, home decor products and more in my Online Gallery Art Store.

Kevin Colorful Brown Tabby Cat Painting

Colorful Portrait Painting of Brown Tabby Cat

Completed on June 4, 2020, this is the second of two pet portraits of cats painted for the same client, of a brown tabby cat named Kevin.  He was a rescue cat, and was abused before his current owner adopted him.  His ears are tattered and he has some scars on his face, that is all that remains of his previous abuse.  Now he is a happy and healthy cat living his best life!

Kevin photo vs painting Brown Tabby cat Painting

Kevin photo vs painting

A comparison of the reference photo with the actual painting can be seen above.  Although this was the main reference used, secondary references were used to fill in some details, as this photo is dark and a little blurry. I also changed his position a little bit so he is not leaning over so far to the left (his right). The markings on his chest are actually not that dark, as was seen from other photos taken in better light. And last, the collar was removed.  Some clients prefer that I leave the collar on and others prefer it be left off.

Kevin brown tabby cat painting closeup

Kevin painting closeup

In the above picture you can see a closeup view of this painting, where you can see the details, colors, and brush strokes. This portrait was created with acrylic paints on an 8″ x 10″ stretched canvas. I used a full rainbow of colors to depict his tabby markings. The tabby markings are painted with dark blues and purples, in contrast to the mostly warm colors used for the rest of the fur.  I did an under-painting of magenta on the “brown” areas of his fur, and then added details with yellow, light blue, red, orange, and even some green to add depth. The combination of many colors gives the impression of “brown tabby” when viewed from a distance. Brown tabby cats are not actually brown, their fur has what is called an agouti ticking pattern. Each individual  hair has bands of various colors which give the impression of a brown color.   The background is a soft gradient of purple, blue and green, which contrasts with the mostly warm colors of the cat.  He is laying on a white comforter on top of a bed.  This had little detail in the actual photo, so I added some creases to make it look more like a blanket.

If you are interested in commissioning a colorful pet portrait of your own, please visit my Pet Portrait Information page for more information.

This artwork is also available for purchase as a fine art print and more in my Gallery Art Store.

Pet Portrait Painting – Alfred the Black Cat

My latest pet portrait painting was completed on May 25, 2020.  The subject was a black cat named Alfred.  The painting was created with acrylic paints on a 8″ x 10″ stretched canvas.

Here is a comparison of the painting of Alfred with the reference photo. I took some liberties with the painting, besides the colors used, of course. In the original photo, Alfred has two light sources: daylight (blue) from the left, and incandescent indoor light (orange) from the right. I thought this was a really cool effect, but creating this with my bright colorful stye just didn’t look right to me. It was hard to tell he was a black cat with all the orange color. So I changed the details to be all one “light” source, using another photo I had of him as a secondary reference. This is a really cool effect that I may try to replicate in a future original painting, maybe of a black wolf or leopard.

Alfred black cat painting closeup

Alfred painting closeup

Above you can see a close up view of the painting, showing the details and colors used.  For Alfred’s portrait, I primarily used a base of blue and purple, and added layers of other colors on top.  All kinds of colors were used, including magenta, green, yellow, orange, and hot pink.  This gives a bit of depth to the painting and makes it more interesting than if I only used blue and purple. I chose green as the primary color for the background to bring out the green color of his eyes. I also added paint brush strokes of purple, blue, yellow, orange, and hot pink to add interest to the background.

My art style is somewhat more detailed, and less impressionistic, than art styles in painting that are popular right now, especially among artists that use a lot of color in their works.  As a former colored pencil artist, it is hard for me not to keep adding details to my paintings.  This makes my style stand out as unique, and also allows me to capture the unique personality, and markings of the pet. I try to make sure it looks like them down to fine details, even while using bright full saturation color.

If you are interested in purchasing a colorful pet portrait of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portrait Page for more information.

This artwork is also available in my online gallery store for purchase as a fine art print, canvas print, tote bag, cell phone case, and much more.

Colorful Pet Portrait Painting of Brown Tabby Kitten

My latest pet portrait painting was completed on May 15, 2020. The subject was a young long haired brown tabby kitten named Finnegan. His owner really loves the color red, and wanted me to incorporate a sunset color palette in his portrait. His portrait was painted using acrylic paints on a 9″ x 12″ stretched canvas.  You can see his portrait compared to the reference photo of him below.

Finnegan kitten portrait photo comparison

Finnegan kitten portrait photo comparison

He is laying on a fleece blanket, and I wanted to mimic that texture in my background, yet also use vibrant colors.  Originally, it was all red and yellow, but I felt that it was too harsh like that, so I toned down the yellow behind his head with light blue.  This also helps to divide the background into foreground and background, and the blue recedes a bit into the background providing some depth.

Even though I used an entire spectrum of colors to paint his fur, you can still tell he is a brown tabby kitten.  The brownish areas of his fur have a magenta, red, and orange undertone, with yellow, blue and green layered on top.  His stripes are created with dark purple and blue for contrast.  I used light blue along the lower edge of his arms and tail to separate him from the reds in the blanket.  No black was use in the creation of this portrait.  Areas that appear black in the painting are actually created using layers of dark purple.

Red paint has a tendency to look very dark and dull on the canvas.  Instead of red, I used fluorescent pink in many layers, along with orange, to create a bright vibrant red that seems to glow on the canvas. This is much more apparent in person than it is on the photo, as fluorescent colors do not scan accurately.  The result is a red that really stands out, instead of looking dull, washed out, and dark.  I recently started using a lot of fluorescent pink acrylic painting in my paintings and it really makes a huge difference in the vibrancy of the colors.

If you like this artwork and would like one of your own please visit my Pet Portraits Commission page for more information.

If you are instead interested in purchasing cat wall art for your home or office, please check out my Art Print Store online.

New Artwork – Psychedelic Rainbow Sloth

My newest artwork is a psychedelic sloth hanging out among trippy spirals and jungle foliage. It was completed on May 9, 2020. I finished this painting while taking a very short break in between completing pet portraits.  It is painted with acrylic paints on an 11″ x 14″ wood panel.  The background, with all the spirals and leaves, was inspired by my artwork Psychedelizard Psychedelic Chameleon, which I created several years ago.  I really like incorporating spirals, paisley-like designs, and abstract shapes into my artwork.

This particular sloth is based on the brown-throated three toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus). They are the most common of the four species of three-toed sloth, and are found in the forests of South and Central America.  They are usually the species that comes to mind when thinking of the “sloth”. I used a reference photo by Marissa Strniste on Flickr, although it was heavily modified, with lots of artistic license!  You can see some closeups below.  Click in the images to enlarge.

 

For this painting, I used Liquitex Basics and Liquitex heavy Body acrylic paints.  I incorporated the use of Fluorescent Pink which give it a spectacular glow in person.  Using fluorescent paints helps me to keep the colors lighter and richer than they would be otherwise if I used regular paint.  Mixing the flourescent pink with orange creates a wonderful bright red color that cannot be achieved with regular paint.

There are six species of sloth. The two main types are three toed sloths, and two toed sloths. They are closely related to anteaters, and live in the trees in the tropical rainforests of South America.  They are best known for their slow movements and easygoing behavior. They have become popular recently, since they are so cute and appear harmless. Their name has been given to one of the seven deadly sins, which is a shame because they are such chill creatures. Humans are so easily caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life that I think we could all use a little sloth in our lives.  I think we all need to take a page from the sloth’s playbook and slow down, take it easy, and learn to relax sometimes.


Wall Art and Home Decor Products

This original artwork is available to purchase, contact me if you are interested.

This is also available in my online stores as art prints and other merchandise.  Please check out the links to my online stores below for more information.

FineArtAmerica: In this store are wall art (art prints, framed prints, canvas prints, acrylic prints, metal prints, wood prints, tapestry), throw pillows fleece blankets, coffee mugs, cell phone cases, tote bags, spiral notebooks, greeting cards, and apparel. This is the best place to go for wall art and home decor items.

RedBubble: In this store is much of the same, with some additional products such as socks, pinback buttons, lots of clothing options, acrylic blocks, phone cases, laptop sleeves, die-cut stickers, comforters, duvet covers, floor pillows, shower curtains, bath mats, wall clocks, coasters, masks, scarves, tote bags, water bottles, and zipper pouches.

Zazzle: In this store are similar products as above, along with unique products such as jigsaw puzzles, mouse pads, glass paperweights, candy tins, stone coasters, sherpa blankets, baby blankets, playing cards, beach towels, magnets, kitchen tea towels, and stationery.  you can preview many of my products below.

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Colorful Pet Portrait of German Shepherd Dog

My latest colorful pet portrait creation is complete!  This is Kozmo, a long haired black and tan German Shepherd Dog.  His portrait was created with acrylic paints on a 9″ x 12″ stretched canvas.  I just completed it on April 23, 2020.  His owners requested that I use bright rainbow colors and incorporate a lot of warm colors such as red and orange.  You can see some close up views below.

I had a lot of fun creating this unique portrait.  The reference photo was of him sitting in the grass on a windy day and I wanted to include the wind blown fur in the portrait for a unique and dynamic touch.  The background is somewhat tie-dye inspired, with a base layer of green, blue, yellow and hot pink, with overlays of more colors in splotches and brush strokes.  For the black areas of his portrait, I used mainly blue and purple, then overlayed brush strokes of green, yellow, magenta, and orange as highlights.  The tan areas are mainly yellows and oranges, with some blue, green, hot pink, and a little white as highlight.  Only his eye color was left natural, as amber with a darker border of brown.  No black was used in the creation of this painting.  Areas that appear black are actually several layers of dark purple.

For this painting, I really pushed the color.  My older pet portraits and paintings are rather conservative, since I am not sure how people will like having a rainbow psychedelic portrait of their dog or cat.  But I am feeling more and more comfortable using bright colors and really including the whole rainbow in my portraits. I got a good reception from this painting, so I feel more confident to use brighter rainbow colors in my future portraits.

Comparison of photo and painting

Comparison of photo and painting

Above you can see a comparison of the photo on the left with the painting on the right.  A few minor changes were made to the dog for the painting.  The photo was taken at an angle which caused foreshortening, and made the head appear too large and the body appear too small.  I corrected that using other photos of this dog to create a more accurate representation of his proportions.

It is a unique take on traditional pet portraits.  The style is realism with a colorful twist.  The portrait is created with close attention to detail.  I try to match colors and tones to the real colors of the dog.  You can tell this is a black and tan German Shepherd, even though it is mostly blue and orange.

If you want a Colorful Pet Portrait of your own pet, please read the information on my Pet Portraits page and use the contact form at the bottom.

Tote bags and more

Tote bags and more

If you are interested in purchasing this artwork as an art print and more, please visit my Gallery Store.  This is available as wall art (art print, framed art print, canvas print, acrylic print, metal print, wood print, tapestry), home decor (throw pillow, fleece blanket, coffee mug, duvet cover, shower curtain, beach towel), greeting card, spiral notebook, cell phone case, and tote bag.

How To Care For Your Acrylic Painting on Canvas

Every portrait that I complete gets send care instructions as well as a certificate of authenticity.  Acrylic paintings on canvas require special handling and care, and proper care can result in your painting lasting for many decades.  Please read below to learn how to care for your original acrylic painting on stretched canvas.

About The Paints Used

My paintings are created with high quality artist’s materials.  I use Liquitex Basics, Liquitex Heavy Body, and Winsor & Newton acrylic paints.  These paints use very high quality pigments and acrylic media, and are lightfast rated.  Lightfastness is the rating given to pigments which determines how well they retain their color in the presence of UV light.  The higher the light fast rating, the better they retain their color.  These paints are all non toxic.

Caring For Stretched Canvas

Your painting was created on stretched canvas. This canvas is made by stretching cotton canvas over wood stretcher bars to the preferred length and width.  It is then fixed to the back with staples and tucked in between two layers of wood.  If hung properly and with minimal handling, the canvas should remain stretched tight and keep its shape. If you notice at any time that the wood has warped or the canvas becomes loose, please take it to a framing store that specializes in restoring paintings and re-stretching canvases to fix the bars for you.

Hanging your Canvas

The canvas is ready-to-hang and does not need to be framed. A wire has been attached to the back of the canvas frame for easy hanging.  Simply hang from a hook on the wall, and use a level to make sure it is even. I do recommend applying some rubber bumpons or felt adhesive pads to each corner of the back of the painting to prevent your wall from being scratched by the staples.

About the Varnish

Your painting has two layers of clear gloss acrylic varnish applied to the entire surface to protect it.  Acrylic varnish enhances the colors and evens out differences in glossiness of the paint.  It also adds a layer of protection tot he paint itself, protecting it from humidity and UV damage.  This varnish is designed to stay clear and colorless and will not result in a yellow discoloration of your painting.

Handling Your Painting

Please avoid touching or handling the surface of the painting. Your skins’ oils contain acids and can damage the artwork with prolonged handling.  To hold and move your painting, please handle it by the sides.  You can also handle it by the wire that is attached to the back. To be extra cautious, you may wear gloves to handle your painting.

Where To Hang your Painting

Keep your painting at room temperature (70° F). Extreme cold or heat can damage your artwork. Smoking near the painting will damage the paint surface as well. Please hang the painting in an area that is not exposed to water.  Avoid hanging in areas like the bathroom, kitchen, or near aquariums.  Also, avoid hanging in an area that is exposed to direct sunlight, as UV light can damage the painting and cause the colors to fade.  The varnish does provide some UV protection, but exposure to direct sun can still damage the painting.

Cleaning Your Painting

A safe way to remove dust and light debris is to use compressed air to blow all dust particles off the surface, or use a damp microfiber cloth with water only to gently wipe the surface. Do not use any cleaning chemicals or detergents. Bleach and ammonia can permanently damage your painting. Most cleaning products on the market contain either bleach or ammonia.  Glass cleaners, all purpose cleaners, disinfecting wipes, and household cleaning products all contain ammonia compounds.

If you need to deep clean your artwork, use a professional cleaning service that has a good reputation in cleaning fine art.

An original will always be worth more than a reproduction.

With proper care, you can keep your paintings alive and living for generations.  Please enjoy your painting!

Colorful Pet Portrait of MC

Colorful Tabby Cat Pet Portrait

Just completed on April 7, 2020 is this colorful pet portrait of a brown and white tabby cat named MC.  It was created with acrylic paints on a 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas.  The portrait was created using a photograph as a reference with a few modifications. You can see a larger version of this painting in my Pet Portraits portfolio.

The “brown” tabby stripes of this cat are actually created with a whole rainbow of colors!  Instead of large areas of the same color, I used a small round paintbrush to create fur texture using different colors next to each other in small amounts.  This creates an illusion where when viewed from a distance, the colors merge and become brown, but when viewed up close, you can see each brush stroke is a different color.  Click on the images below to see a close up view of the details in the face and body fur.


It was both a challenge and fun to create the tabby stripes on MC. Tabby markings aren’t just stripes.  They are usually blotches and spots as well.  Brown tabbies actually aren’t brown at all.  Their fur features what is called an “agouti” pattern, where each individual hair has bands of color along it, known as “ticking”.  When a lot of these hairs are grouped together, they give the illusion of color and markings.

The white areas of his fur were also created with multiple colors. The light source for the reference photo was from the right side, so it created a nice shadow on the side of his face.  I created this in the painting by using lots of blue and purple colors.  I balanced the cool blues and purples with warm pinks, orange and yellow throughout the white areas.

I chose the background color, a gradient of yellows, greens, and blues, to bring out the rich green color of his eyes.  The style I used for the background is what I call confetti. I create a gradient of the lighter colors first, then layer short thick brush strokes of the adjacent color overtop.  This creates an interesting yet non distracting background.  The lighter area of the background (yellow) is adjacent to the darkest areas of the cat’s body.  The darkest area of the background (blue and purple) is adjacent to the lightest areas of the cat’s portrait, mainly the face and upper body.  This contrast helps the cat “pop” out from the background.

MC photo and painting comparison

MC photo and painting comparison

Above you can see the comparison of the photo reference on the left to the painting on the right.  You can see that some changes were made to the portrait compared to the photo.  I rotated the reference photo so the cat was more horizontal.  The collar was removed.  The chair and background were changed, bringing the focus on the cat.  The orientation of his ears was modified slightly, bringing them more forward.  This gives the cat a more relaxed appearance.  In the photo the cat’s ears are more flattened toward the side, sometimes called “airplane ears”.  This can typically indicate displeasure or stress, or maybe he was listening to something in the background.  But it gives the impression of irritation, and I thought it would be better to have the ears at a more relaxed angle.

If you enjoy this painting, and want a similar one of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portrait Information page here to learn more about the process.

This painting is available as a fine art print in my gallery store.  Choose from multiple paper types with hundreds of options for framing.  You can also choose a canvas print, metal print, acrylic print, or wood print.  Other products available are a cell phone case, throw pillow, fleece blanket, coffee mug, tote bag, wall tapestry, greeting cards, and a spiral notebook.

Poseidon Zeus Hades

Multiple Dog Pet Portrait Acrylic Painting on Canvas

My latest pet portrait painting is complete!  Finished March 19, 2020.  This portrait is created with acrylic paints on a 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas. From left to right, they are: Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades.  Poseidon is a Keeshond, and so is Zeus, and Hades is a shepherd mixed breed.

Please click on the pictures below to see close up view of all three dogs.

 


This painting was created with my signature colorful style, but in a slightly different way. Looking at a small thumbnail version of the picture, the dogs look fairly normal, somewhat grey and black.  However, once you zoom in and see the details you can see that no grey or brown was used. The fur details of the dogs was created using the entire spectrum of colors in small impressionistic brush strokes.  For example, in the “white” areas of Zeus’ face, you can see purple, blue, green, yellow, magenta, orange, and red.  This creates a very interesting visual illusion. I chose this method because these dogs do not have solid colors.  Instead, their fur has an agouti, or ticked, appearance.  The grey areas of the dogs are actually made up of hairs that have small black and white bands that give the appearance of grey from a distance.

Comparing the painting with the photo

Comparing the painting with the photo

Here you can see a comparison view of the painting vs the reference photo. This painting is actually rather atypical for me, since I rarely use the reference photo exactly as it is. I usually do a composite of multiple photos, even for a single portrait. By compositing, I mean maybe I will use one photo reference for the overall position, but a different one for the eyes and yet another one for the markings. Most of the pictures I get to use as my references for pet portraits are cell phone shots, and they tend to be a bit out of focus, too dark, too small, taken from too far away and there is loss of detail, lots of compression artifacts, or maybe some bit got cut off. So I tend to pick one that I like best for the main reference and use the others to fill in the details. This is fine, expected, and part of the process of being a pet portrait artist. This photo was exceptional and perfect, and I didn’t feel like there needed to be any changes made.

If you like my art style and want to commission a pet portrait of your own, please visit my information page.

You may also visit my Etsy Store.