Tag Archives: dog

Vibrant Painting of Tricolor Australian Shepherd Dog

A colorful pet portrait of a black tricolor Australian Shepherd dog named Shane. The painting was created with acrylic paints on a 12″ x 16″ stretched canvas, and completed on January 28, 2021. This unique portrait features a sunset color palette, with vibrant blue, purple, magenta, red, and orange colors. A larger version of this artwork can be seen in my Portfolio Gallery.

This portrait was created in my distinct colorful realism style. For this style, I retain the original coloration and markings of the dog, and replace them with colorful analogues. For instance, black colored fur is represented by blues and purples. This dog is a black tricolor Australian shepherd, which means that the main colors of the dog are black, tan, and white. The black areas are painted using dark purple, dark and medium blue, and with light blue as highlights, with a few splashes of green and magenta to add depth and make it interesting.  The tan areas are painted with orange, yellow, fluorescent pink, and magenta, with some fluorescent orange and yellow here and there.  The fluorescent colors do not scan or photograph very well, especially the orange. As as result, this painting is actually more vibrant in real life.

In the images above, you can see closeup views of different areas of the painting, so you can see the detail and colors used.

The owner requested a dark blue-purple-red gradient background for this portrait. I have not done that color combination for a background for a pet portrait before, although I have used it a couple of times for personal artwork. I was not sure if it would look right, since the dog is mostly black.  I decided to lighten the highlights so that the dog stood out from the background. I think it turned out very well, and it can still be distinguished that the dog is actually black.

About the Breed – Australian Shepherd Dog

Australian shepherd dogs, despite their name, are a herding breed that originated in the United States. The breed was developed from the similar border collie and other herding collie breeds. They can be distinguished from the related border collie dog breed by their heavier-set build, slightly larger size, ears which normally lay down rather than pricked, and commonly bobbed or docked tail. They come in a variety of colors, including tricolor black, tricolor red, bicolor, blue merle, and red merle. They can also have a variety of eye colors, including amber, green, brown, and blue, and even heterochromia (multiple colored eyes). They are energetic and intelligent dogs, and are a versatile breed.

If you like this painting and want one of your own dog or cat, please visit my Pet Portraits commission page for more information on the process, materials, and process.

Wall Art Prints, Home Decor and More

This beautiful original painting has a home, but you can purchase the artwork as a fine art print and other products in my online gallery stores. Please read the information below to learn about available products and stores where you can purchase this artwork.

For high quality fine art prints and home decor items, please visit my FineArtAmerica/Pixels store. This artwork is available to purchase as a fine art print on various substrates, such as giclee paper prints, framed prints, stretched canvas prints, metal prints, acrylic prints, wood prints, and tapestries. Each print medium comes with multiple sizes to choose from and many other options to suit your home decor needs and tastes. You can also purchase throw fleece blankets, sherpa blankets, duvet covers, shower curtains, beach and bath towels, throw pillows, cell phone cases, jigsaw puzzles, tote bags, coffee mugs, greeting cards, spiral notebooks, face masks, and t-shirts in this store.

In my RedBubble store you can find unique gift ideas for purchase. In addition to many of the products in the previous store, you can find many unique apparel and clothing options, die-cut vinyl stickers, magnets, laptop skins and sleeves, iPad and iPhone cases, art board prints, mounted canvas prints, postcards, posters, acrylic blocks, bath mats, wall clocks, coaster sets, comforters, floor pillows, drawstring bags, pin back buttons, scarves, travel mugs, water bottles, hardcover journals, jigsaw puzzles, and aprons.

My Zazzle store is filled with products that can be found nowhere else, including many stationery products and kitchen and dining decor, and they all make amazing gifts for a friend or family.  In this store you can find garden flags, playing cards, paper stickers, address labels, full-size spiral notebooks, weekly planners, pocket folders, specialty mugs, shot glasses, pint size drinking glasses, acrylic tumblers, stainless steel water bottles, kitchen tea towels, flexible fridge magnets, stone coasters, candy tins, reusable grocery bags, ceramic and acrylic ornaments, baby blankets, and jigsaw puzzles.

Finn painting header

Painting of Cute Gray Dog named Finn

Completed on January 19, 2021 is this small pet portrait of a mixed breed gray dog named “Finn”. The painting was created with acrylic paints on a 5″ x 7″ mini canvas. The customer wanted Finn to have natural coloration with a colorful background. The background is a gradient of medium blue, teal, green and a bit of yellow. A larger version of the painting can be seen in my Portfolio.

Finn reference photo and painting

Finn reference photo and painting

Finn appears to be a pitbull mixed breed dog, and is mostly a gray color with some brownish tones here and there. This is a bit different than my usual style, which is colorful realism. I think the natural color scheme works really well for pets that are gray or brown, as these colors are difficult to reproduce as a colorful scheme. I created the base color by mixing a bit of black with some titanium white, and then adding in some brown to warm it up a bit. This was darkened by adding a bit more black and brown, or even some dark purple, to create the shadowed areas of this fur. I work in layers, which allows more depth in the colors than working in a single layer.  Since acrylics are somewhat translucent, it allows the lower layers to show through a bit, and can create a neat effect with the fur details.  I added some blue lowlights and yellow highlights to make it interesting.

I also don’t normally create paintings on such a small canvas.  I prefer larger canvases, as it can allow me to add more details and be more relaxed with my brushstrokes.  Working on a small canvas means that it will have a more painterly effect, and less detailed. Small paintings are great for animals that are a solid color and shorthaired, as they don’t need a lot of fine details. They are also great for customers that maybe don’t have a lot of room for a larger painting, or are on a budget.

If you like the portrait of Finn and want one of your own dog or cat (or any other animal) please visit my Pet Portraits commission page to see my price list and more information on ordering your own painting.

This artwork is also available as a fine art print, wall art, and other products in my Gallery Print Store. Choose from paper giclee, stretched canvas, metal, wood, acrylic, or tapestry wall art options, as well as a tote bag, coffee mug, greeting card, spiral notebook, jigsaw puzzle, fleece blanket, and phone case.

Two Cute Dogs Best Friends Portrait Painting

This unique pet portrait painting is of two dogs named Trucker and Jackson. It was completed on December 10, 2020, and was created with acrylic paints on an 18″ x 24″ stretched canvas. Trucker is the English Mastiff, and Jackson is the brindle mixed breed dog. Trucker is using Jackson as a pillow, and they are laying down on a blanket on a couch. This was created entirely from one photograph.  The person who commissioned the painting had a limited number of photographs to use, and wanted both dogs in the same painting.  I chose this one since it had both dogs already, and was a cute and unique pose. You can see a larger view of the artwork in my Portfolio Gallery.

This painting was a bit of a challenge, both due to the unique poses the dogs have, and the colors of their fur.  The customer requested my colorful realism style, and I had to make it work in the context of the dog’s actual fur color, without tipping over to being too psychedelic. In order to contrast with the mostly lighter colors of the mastiff, I chose to have a dark blue background, with a slight gradient of violet on the left side and teal-green on the right. In the reference photo, they are laying on a black leather sofa, but I did not want the background to be black.

Trucker, the Mastiff, is the typical fawn with a black mask.  However, he has started to go gray in the face, and has a lot of white hairs on his muzzle. For his mask and ears, I used a lot of blue and purple as a base, and added many layers of lighter blue, green, magenta, violet, and a very sparse amount of white. I did this following the direction of fur on his face. For the fawn areas, I used a base of very light yellow, and added layers of orange, hot pink, green, light purple, and light blue.  I added some white highlights to some areas to create highlights. The collar and eye color were left natural.

Creating Jackson, the brindle dog, was a bit more challenging. Jackson is mostly various shades of brown and red, with white on his muzzle and underside with brindle markings all over. I wanted to give the impression that he was “brown” without actually making his fur brown. Whereas most brindle dogs are more or less the same tone all over, Jackson actually has a sable base coloration underneath his brindle. Sable colors are what is typically found in collies, and results in darker coloration on the top of the head, ears, along the back, and the tops of the legs. For his fur, I used a base underpainting of orange, and layered on many other colors depending on the markings in that area.  I used a lot of fluorescent pink, red, and purple in various amounts.  The brindle markings were created with multiple layers of darker purples with light blue on top. This helps to soften the markings and also make them stand out more against the orange tone of the fur. The eye color was left natural.  The collar is as it appears in the photograph: dark blue with a light blue clasp, and with little whales printed on it.

The blanket they were laying on originally was black and white, with a pattern on it and a teal border.  The pattern of the blanket was too chaotic for the portrait, so I used the teal from the border and made the whole blanket teal.  This also helped to contrast nicely with the oranges and reds of Jackson’s fur.

If you like this painting of these two dogs, and want one of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portrait Information page.

Pumba dog painting

Colorful Bicolor Dog Painting in Rainbow Colors

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.

Larry the Labrador painting

Larry the Labrador Retriever Dog Colorful Painting

My latest pet portrait was completed on October 29, 2020.  It features a colorful portrait of a black Labrador Retriever dog named Larry. It was painted with acrylic paints on a 5″ x 7″ stretched canvas.  This is a much smaller canvas than I typically work with, but since it was a black lab it was less of an issue.  Since Labradors are short haired dogs, I did not have to worry as much about fine details, and could use a more painterly style to represent fur texture. So instead I focused on the overall tones, shadows and highlights to create structure to his face and body, and various colors to bring depth to the painting.

I used a mixture of medium blue and purple for the overall coat color, dark purple for the shadows, and light blue and teal for the highlights. These colors still emphasize that this is a black lab, but are unique and colorful as well. Black dogs often have a cool undertone to their fur, which can show up as blue or purple.   I then added some magenta and hot pink, medium blue, and green.  For the darkest shadows I sparingly used some black paint mixed with dark purple, so that they are as dark as they can be.  From my previous works on black animals, I have come to realize that I need to make my dark areas darker so the other colors are more vibrant. The eyes were left the natural color of dark brown, with black and purple used for the outlines and pupils. Light blue and white were used for the highlight in the eyes. The background is a simple gradient of light blue, green, yellow, and orange. This background color scheme contrasts nicely with the colors of the dog without being too flashy and taking attention away from the subject.

If you like this portrait of Larry and want one of your own dog, please visit my Pet Portraits Commission Page for more information. Also check out the Pet Portraits portfolio gallery to see more of my colorful pet portrait artworks, including other Labrador retriever dogs.

Even thought the original is sold, this artwork is still available for purchase as a fine art print and other products in my online stores. Please visit my FineArtAmerica/Pixels store for wall art, home decor, cases, t-shirts and much more. Visit my RedBubble Store for a variety of unique gifts and products including apparel, puzzles, stickers, magnets, and much more.


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.

Colorful Fluorescent Dog Portrait

This bright fluorescent pet portrait painting features a mixed breed dog named Belle.  It was completed on September 16, 2020, and was created with acrylic paints on a 8″ x 10″ stretched canvas. The portrait was painted with bright rainbow colors, against a background that is a gradient of blue and green.  The mostly blue background is a complementary color to the mostly orange color of the subject, which makes the dog “pop” from the canvas.  The reserved, plain background allows the subject to be the sole focus of the painting.  It is an abstract version of the background in the actual photo reference, which was a bright blue sky and green grass. A larger version of this painting can be seen in my Portfolio Gallery.

Belle is a mostly brownish-tan color, which was represented in this painting as bright orange. The pose of the dog is dynamic and original.  She is not facing forward, nor is she facing sideways (profile view). Her face is at a three-quarters pose, and she is looking at something off camera, and her ears are moving, listening to her surroundings.  This pose makes for a more interesting portrait than the traditional full head on symmetrical poses that are popular with portrait paintings.

I used a good amount of fluorescent paints in the creation of this painting.  Since fluorescent paints are more transparent, I paint a base payer first, then layer the fluorescent paints over top of it.  It is impossible to see this in the scan, since a computer screen cannot differentiate between regular orange and fluorescent orange.  But it is very obvious in the actual painting.  Regular orange appears rather dull and drab when compared to the fluorescent orange paint. I also used touches of fluorescent pink and yellow.  A lighter yellow color was used for the highlights, and purple and blues were used very minimally for shading.  Little touches of green were added throughout to create interest and break up large areas of a single color.

If you like this painting and want one of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portrait Commission Page to find out about pricing and other information.

This artwork is also available in my Online Print Store for purchase as a fine art print, canvas print, home decor products such as throw pillows and blankets, and other products like tote bags and cell phone cases.

Cute Rainbow Dog Pet Portrait

Completed on August 22, 2020, was this cute portrait of an adorable mixed breed dog named Churro in bright rainbow colors. It was painted with acrylics on an 8″ x 10″ stretched canvas. Churro is a mixed breed dog, most likely a poodle and terrier cross.  He has really wild ears, and it was great fun creating them on canvas! A larger version of this painting can be seen on this webpage here: Colorful Pet Portrait – Churro.

Churro photo vs painting rainbow dog

Churro photo vs painting

Above you can see the comparison of the reference photo with the painting.  I used two references for this painting.  This was the main one for the ears and body, and I used a different one for his face, which was facing forward.  He is overall a light tan color with darker areas around his muzzle and on his ears.  The lighter areas were created using an under-painting of a light beige color, and then layers of other pastel tinted colors on top.  The ears were given a base of medium blue, with other colors layered on top.  The different colors and layers give the dog depth and gives the fur texture.

The bright burst of rainbow colors in the background was intentionally chosen to make the dog pop from the background, using complementary colors and contrast of light and dark.  The lightest colors, such as yellow and orange, are around his ears, which are a dark color.  The darkest colors are near his body, which is light colored. Extra brush strokes of varying color were added to the background to make it interesting.

Above are close up views of the painting, showing the details and colors used.  From a distance, the colors kind of blend together and make the dog look overall a beige color.  But on closeup view, the various colors and brush strokes can be seen.  I used full spectrum and full saturation rainbow colors in the painting of this dog.  It is both subtle and bright at the same time.

If you like this painting and want one of your own dog or cat, please visit my Pet Portrait Information Page for prices and sizes. These are all created with acrylic paints on stretched canvas in your choice of sizes.

This artwork is also available in my Online Store as a fine art print, tote bag, cell phone case, throw pillow, t-shirt, fleece blanket, and much more.

Colorful Cosmic Goldendoodle Portrait

Completed July 27, 2020, this is the colorful pet portrait of Buddy, the goldendoodle. It was painted with acrylics on 11″ x 14″ stretched canvas. The owner of the dog requested a galaxy cosmic background.  This is the first time I have done this type of background specifically for a pet portrait.  It creates a unique painting experience, while also being psychedelic and colorful. For the background, I used layers of dark purple with magenta, hot pink, and medium and light blues.  This achieved the nebula effect.  Then I added progressively lighter colors as stars, with pure white used as a highlight in the larger, brighter stars. The overall lighter and warm colors of the dog contrast nicely against the darker and cooler colors of the background. A larger version of this painting can be seen in my portfolio – Colorful Pet Portrait – Buddy the Goldendoodle.

Buddy Goldendoodle Closeup of painting

Buddy Goldendoodle Closeup of painting

Above you can see a close up view of the painting. From a distance, his painting has an overall “golden” tone, with lots of yellows and oranges.  This in general matches the cream and golden colors of the actual dog’s fur color. Up close, though, you can see I actually used the entire rainbow worth of colors in his fur. Red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, purple, magenta, and everything in between was used for each clump of fur. This makes the painting more dynamic, and much more interesting than if I had only limited my color palette to a few colors.

In general, in choosing the colors I will use for a portrait, I try to select colors that closely match the real colors and tones of the fur.  Then, I add splashes of other colors to bring depth to the painting, and make it more interesting. In the case of this goldendoodle, I chose mostly warm colors for the base color, and layered on many other colors that represent the shadows in the clumps of fur.

Buddy goldendoodle photo vs painting

Buddy reference photo and painting

Here you can see the comparison of the painting with the reference photo. As usual, I used two other secondary references to fill in details that were blurry or missing in this main reference photo. The dog’s eyes were obscured by clumps of fur, and I chose to remove some of those so the eyes can be seen better.  The dogs’ head was sharp and in focus, but the body was obscured by a hand, as well as being out of focus.  Secondary photo references helped to fill in those missing details.

If you like this painting and want something similar of your own pet, please visit my Pet Portraits Information page to learn more. There you can get an idea of prices and sizes available, and see other examples of my work.

A print of this painting is available in my Online Print Store.

Psychedelic Rainbow Rottweiler Pet Portrait Painting

Completed on July 16, 2020, this pet portrait painting is of a female Rottweiler mixed breed dog named Shadow in bright rainbow colors.  This portrait was created with acrylic paints on an 11″ x 14″ stretched canvas.  Both the background and the dog have bright psychedelic rainbow colors, making this a vibrant and dynamic portrait. This is the first of two portraits for the same owner. A larger version of this painting can be seen in my portfolio here – Colorful Pet Portrait – Shadow the Rottweiler.


Please see the closeup views of the portrait above.  You can see the brush strokes and details, as well as the colors used.  Shadow is a black and tan dog with rottweiler markings, which i portrayed in a rainbow style.  The black areas of her fur were created with mostly darker cool colors, such as purple, violet, blues and greens, with splashes of magenta and dark yellows.  The tan areas of her fur are portrayed with brighter warm colors, such as red, orange, yellow, and some magenta and hot pink.  The background is a style I like to call “rainbow confetti”. It starts with a tie-dye inspired abstract blocking of colors, with adjacent colors overlaid in large square shaped brush strokes.

i really like using this rainbow art style.  My more recent pet portrait paintings have been more psychedelic than the older ones.  I feel more comfortable and confident with this style, and more assured that people will like it.  When I first started doing pet portraits, I wanted to use a lot of color, but also did not want to go overboard, in case the owners did not like it.  However I have found people really respond to this colorful style and want something different with their pet portraits.

If you enjoy my art style, and would like a colorful pet portrait of your own, please contact me. Visit my Pet Portraits Commission page to get more information on prices, sizes, materials, and more.  I would be happy to paint your pet in my psychedelic rainbow style!

This painting is available in my online Gallery Art Store as an art print, canvas print, tote bag, cell phone case, throw pillow, fleece blanket, beach towel, coffee mug, and much more!