Thursday, April 28, 2011


This is for A Day Not Wasted April 2011 challenge. It's oil on 20x20 stretched canvas.

When I first saw the reference photo of the dog (think it's a bichon frise?) named Zoe (ref photo), I thought the picture was so nice that I had to paint it. Given the amount of detail needed for this dog portrait, I decided to go with a bigger canvas, 20"x20". Plus, my younger son has already put in the order that the finished painting will be hung in his room.

I first prepared the canvas with an acrylic base of yellow orchre for the light parts and violet for the shadows. Then the painting was done with many shades of white. The background is lemon yellow with white. The dog is white plus colors such as raw umber, ultramarine violet, terre verde, gold orchre, cadmium yellow.

As with any portraits, placements of the facial features takes many rounds of fine tuning. The fur color between the light and dark took many rounds of fine tuning too. I think I'm at a point I need to stop tweaking the painting or else the whole thing will turn into mud color. After this very good exercise, I have new found respect for painters who paint animals: they're not easy to paint!


  1. Great work you did here! Love the face, the eyes, the expression! You've captured Zoe beautifully!

  2. Great job. I appreciate your description of how you used your paint colors.

  3. Zoe looks great-fluffy and cute! I was wondering, maybe you could try toning down the black shading on the tongue a wee bit.

  4. Rebecca,I love the silkiness you have achieved on Zoes coat and the liiveliness of the very well done

  5. You have done a beautiful job with the values & temperature shifts. I would think with such a small range of each, it would take a good eye to catch it all. Nice edge work too.