Tag Archives: colorful

Colorful Portrait of Yellow Labrador Retriever Dog

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.

Ceasar the Champagne Pitbull Dog Colorful Painting

My latest pet portrait features a colorful painting of a champagne pitbull terrier dog named Ceaser. Created with acrylic paints on a square 8″ x 8″ stretched canvas, completed on November 5, 2020. This is the first time I have done a square canvas, and I think it really works well for this subject! For those of you who are not familiar with the term, “champagne” is one of the color variations of pitbulls, and it is a dilute light grayish-tan color, like a very light fawn, and they have a red nose. You can view a larger image of this painting in my Portfolio.

Ceasar the Champagne Pitbull Dog photo vs painting

Ceasar photo vs painting

Recreating Ceasar’s fur color in my colorful style was a bit challenging. It is not really orange, but not really gray either, somewhere in between, and dilute in color.  For this portrait, I did something a bit differently than my usual process.  I mixed several colors together to create a base coat as similar to his fur color as I could.  For the champagne areas, I mixed unbleached titanium, light yellow, a bit of orange, and some fluorescent pink.  I then layered on additional colors, such as purple, pink, blue, orange and yellow, all mixed with a bit of white to dilute them and create a more pastel color palette. The “red” nose was created with magenta, orange, light pink, and white.  For the white areas, I used various blues and purples to create the shadows in the neck and body.  The eyes were left natural, using amber and brown.

If you like this painting and want one of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portraits Information page. There you can find info about pricing, sizes, and styles.

Although the original painting is sold, this artwork is available as a print and other products in my online stores.  For high quality wall art in lots of options, please visit my FineArtAmerica store. Here you will find paper art prints with many choices for framing and paper type. Also choose from canvas prints, acrylic prints, wood prints, metal prints, and wall tapestries.  Also available in this store are Jigsaw Puzzles, Throw Pillows, Fleece Blankets, Duvet Covers, Shower Curtains, Bath Hand Towels, Beach Towels, Coffee Mugs, Tote Bags, T-shirts, Cell Phone Cases, Greeting Cards, Face Masks, and Spiral Notebooks.

Please also visit my RedBubble Store for unique apparel and products that are not found in my other store, such as magnets, die cut vinyl stickers, acrylic blocks, coasters, comforters, wall clocks, scarves, travel mugs, water bottles, and aprons.

Portrait of Two Sheep in Colorful Style

This painting is a portrait of two Lincoln Longwool sheep named Charlie (left) and Curtis (right).  This is a unique pet portrait, very different from my typical dog and cat portraits. It was created with acrylic paints on an 18″ x 24″ stretched canvas.  It was completed on September 5, 2020. It is painted in a very colorful style, using a lot of bright rainbow colors.  This is the very first time I have painted sheep, and it was a great learning experience, especially learning how to paint wool texture.

A Note on Painting White Animals

Sheep in general are mostly white, with many shades of gray and brown tones here and there.  White fur (or, in this case, wool) is never really “white”. There are many hidden tones and colors in the hairs, especially in the areas of shadow and shade.  Upon closer inspection, most “white” animals have lots of undertones in their fur, including creams, yellows, oranges, blues, and purples. It is fun to paint white animals and bring out all those hidden colors in a more saturated form.

Charlie and Curtis painting and photos

Charlie and Curtis painting and photos

Reference photos of sheep vs Painting

Above is a comparison of the reference photos that were used for the painting, and the painting itself. Both of the photo references were cell phone snaps of actual physical photographs (the king that are taken and developed on paper). They were adequate for my purposes, but I did need to look at clearer and more detailed photographs of this breed of sheep to fill in some details.  Other photos were provided by the owner to fill in other details, such as the eye color and ear markings.  Since these two sheep are in different stages of being sheared, I did a virtual “haircut” to Charlie (the one on the left) so it would match the other sheep’s wool length. I really liked the dramatic side-lighting of the first photo, and used that as my reference for the lighting.  I decided to make the lighting for the painting as a late afternoon sunlight, so the areas where the sun hits the sheep it is more orange and yellow, and the shadows and shaded areas are more purple and blue. The owner wanted them to be standing in a grassy field.  The grass that is closer to the foreground is in focus and detailed, and the grass more in the background is blurred like with a shallow depth of field.

Sheep Closeup

Sheep Closeup

Detailed View of Sheep

In the above photo you can see a close up view of the details in the painting. Here you can see the details in the eye, and the wool texture. It was created by using an old beat up brush that has the bristles sticking out in different directions.  That brush was perfect for creating this texture.  Sometimes, having an old beat up brush can be useful for something! I used a whole rainbow of color for this painting.

Charlie and Curtis photo vs scan

Charlie and Curtis photo vs scan

Photographing the Painting vs Scanning

Finally, the above photograph shows a comparison with the finished painting taken with a cell phone camera, vs the final one which was a professional scan.  This shows the dramatic difference between different sources of digitally acquiring paintings.  The photo was taken with my cell phone in indoor lighting (LED soft white lightbulbs, two directions), and with minor color and brightness corrections.  It is hard to tell from this small picture, but it is a bit blurry and there are a lot of compression artifacts, and the color is a bit off.  The scan on the right was done by a professional scanner, and the details are sharper and the colors more accurate to the actual painting.  I suggest to artists who wish to have their artwork reproduced as prints to get it scanned professionally and not make prints from cell phone snaps.  There is a huge difference in quality.

If you like this style of painting and want one of your own pet (or any animal), please visit my Pet Portraits Commission Page for more information.

This artwork is available in my online store as a fine art print, home decor products, and other gifts.  Please visit my Print Store for paper and framed prints, canvas prints, metal wall art, tapestries, tote bags, throw pillows, fleece blankets, face masks, and more.  Please visit my RedBubble Store for jigsaw puzzles, coffee mugs, stickers, coasters, clocks, socks, magnets and more cool products.

Psychedelic Rainbow Black Cat Pet Portrait Painting

My latest pet portrait is of a long haired black cat named Felix. This painting was completed on August 5, 2020.  It was created with acrylic paints on a 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas. The reference photo features a long haired black cat laying down in the sun on the carpet in front of a couch. I sought to replicate the dramatic back lighting while still striving to make it as colorful as possible, and used a palette of full saturation rainbow colors for this cat portrait. A larger version of this drawing can be seen in my portfolio here: Colorful Pet Portrait – Felix.

felix photo and painting

Felix rainbow cat photo and painting comparison

Above you can see the reference photo, on the left, compared to the painting, on the right. Most long haired cats are a lighter color on the areas that have the longest fur, usually the neck, chest, belly, and rear end. This is more pronounced on long haired black cats, who can also develop “bronzing” on their longer fur, creating a brownish tint. You can see in the photo reference that Felix has lighter fur in his neck ruff and belly, and so I sought to represent that in the painting by using lighter colors and a warmer color palette.  The darker black areas of his face and arms are painted with a palette of mostly cool colors, such as purple, blue, and some green, with a bit of magenta. Though the carpet is white, I decided to use yellows, oranges and greens for the carpet in the painting.  This provides some contrast with the colors used in his portrait.

Above are some close up views of the painting, showing the details and bright colors that I used.  Click on each one to see a larger version. I use Liquitex Basics and Liquitex Heavy Body acrylic paints. I work in layers, which means I “block in” areas of color and then layer details on top.  The base colors I used on the face, for example, are Dioxazine Purple for the darker areas, and Light Blue Permanent for the light areas.  Then I add various shades of blues, purples, and greens on top of that, including some Fluorescent Pink to make the colors pop. This results in a really dynamic rainbow cat painting!

If you really like this painting of Felix, and would like to commission one of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portraits page to learn more.

This image is available for purchase as a fine art print and other products for sale in my online stores. Visit my Pixels Store for high quality art prints and other home decor products. Also check out my RedBubble Store for additional products such as stickers and jigsaw puzzles!


Mockup in the header provided by Mucahit Gayiran on PixelBuddha.net.