Tag Archives: labrador retriever

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.

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.


Rainbow Black Lab Psychedelic Pet Portrait

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. A larger version of this painting can be seen in my portfolio here: Colorful Pet Portrait – Rocky the Labrador Retriever.

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.

Labrador Retriever Dog Framed Art Print

Colorful Labrador Retriever Dog Painting

My newest painting, the Loyal Companion – Colorful Labrador Retriever Dog, is now available online for purchase as a fine art print and much more in my online stores.  This is the first of a series of colorful dog paintings depicting popular dog breeds.  Though I already have two dog artworks (French Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzer), those are drawings using pastels.  I am taking a break from pastel drawings for now, and focusing on acrylic painting.

A black lab done in a painterly style with blue, green, and purple, with a bold background of yellow and blue. Reference photo from Pixabay.

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Although they were originally bred as gun dogs, this versatile and intelligent breed also works as guide dogs for the blind, assistance and therapy, bomb detection dogs for the police and military, and as pets. This breed originated in the Newfoundland and Labrador region of Canada. Later, they were imported to Great Britain where they became a different variation. The English and American labs differ in behavior and appearance. English labs tend to be more laid back and easier to train, whereas American labs tend to be more high energy. English labs are larger and have blocky square heads, and the American labs tend to be longer and thinner. There are three main colors of Labrador Retrievers: black, yellow, and chocolate, although other colors exist.

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