Is there anything sweeter than a girl and her dog? No? That’s what I thought.
I remember my first dog. Her name was Mitzy and she was a chubby blonde 7 year old cocker spaniel. We adopted her and she truly did not like us when we first brought her home. I’m pretty sure the first time I tried to pet her she tried to bite me.
Once, my brothers were home alone during the day, when a man broke into our house. My brother had to hold Mitzy back from attacking until the man left. She was so grumpy, but she really was a good dog and I’m pretty sure she grew to love us as much as we loved her.
I was recently commissioned to paint a triple portrait for a couple due to be married in September. They have a yellow lab that needed to be added since he was not in the reference photo. I thought he should be the center of attention ( as all dogs should), so I used some ***ART MAGIC!*** to make it happen. I wish them all the best in their future together, and I hope their dog likes this painting.
Painting brings people together! My 3rd grade teacher contacted me recently to commission a portrait of her grand puppy, Flo. She sent me more reference photos than anyone ever has, and it was very difficult to choose one because this dog is adorable. I chose the reference photo with the best shot of Flo’s eyes because she has really cool eyes that are different colors!
Now to address the elephant sized dog in the room. . . This blog is called pet painting a day, but I obviously haven’t been delivering. I’m trying, though, so be patient with me, and if you have any reference photos you would like to see painted on my blog, feel free to send ’em my way!
Wow! It’s been almost a week since I’ve posted! I feel super guilty about taking such a long break from the blog, but I have been painting, so that makes me feel a little bit better.
My good friend Franny sent me the reference photos for these two paintings. They are her older and younger sister, who recently each lost a pet. I really enjoyed painting these two, and it was nice to switch up the size as well.
I completed this one tonight. This is my sister’s dog, Dodge. He’s a big black Great Dane, and was still a puppy in this picture. Dodge is a giant sweety pie, who has had an interesting life thus far. He was found abandoned as a small(ish) puppy by the police after someone left him behind after being evicted. My sister was told there was an 8 week old puppy that needed a home, and went to get him, thinking he would be a tiny helpless baby. She came home with a lanky puppy that was the size of many full grown dogs already. He ended up being a great dog, who loved kids and was a sweet as could be.
While we were getting ready to go on a camping trip one day, Dodge trotted into the street and was hit by a truck. His paw looked so bad, I was convinced he would have to have his leg amputated. My sister cared for him and changed the dressing on his wound daily until he miraculously recovered, able to run and play within a month of the accident. He’s definitely a survivor, and has made me appreciate this large lovable breed of dog.
Kinsley is a two year old Blue Merle Pomeranian. Her mom says that she is her little shadow, following her everywhere.
I wasn’t sure what “merle” meant,
so I looked it up and found a good explanation here. If you were wondering, merle is a coat pattern that occurs in dogs with a certain genetic code, and it causes more white hairs in certain spots, making the dog look mottled. Blue Merle is basically when this happens to a dog with a lot of black fur, and Red Merle is when this happens with a mostly brown dog.
Oscar is a Beagle, a very popular breed that has traditionally been used for fox hunting. Famous Beagles include the well known characters Snoopy, Shiloh, and Gromit. The seem like a very run-of-the-mill type of dog, but when I Googled their history, I found out all sorts of interesting things about them.
First off, did you know there was once a mini beagle?! We all know a sure-fire way to make something cuter is to make it smaller. Here is what http://www.cesarsway.com has to say about the pocket version:
“The earliest dogs that were referred to as “Beagles” were small hound dogs that stood at 8 to 9 inches tall. These tiny dogs were called “Pocket Beagles” since they were literally small enough to fit into the pockets of hunters. In the mid-18th century, hunting increased in popularity and larger dogs became the preferred trail companions, leading to this line of miniature Beagles being overlooked, and eventually becoming extinct in 1901.
Also, their name is pretty. . . straightforward. It literally means loudmouth.
a small hound with a smooth coat, short legs, and drooping ears, used in hunting small game
Origin of beagle
Middle English begle ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Middle French bee gueule, literally , wide throat ; from Old French béer, baer, baier (see bay), to gape + gueule, throat ; from Classical Latin gula: see gullet
Other than those interesting facts, Beagles just seem like pretty cool, laid back dogs to have around if you are looking for a family pet. They may be a bit loud at times, but if you watch this video, you can see that their personality makes up for any flaws they may have.
That’s how long it felt like this painting was going to take. For some reason, maybe I had a long day, maybe the painting I did yesterday kicked my butt, too, or maybe I was in a crummy mood, but this painting just wasn’t coming together. After hearing some heavy sighs and some muttered curse words, my husband asked me what was wrong.
“Look at this painting!”
“What’s wrong? It looks fine to me.”
“It’s a complete disaster. I’m a total failure, and I didn’t even finish the painting I started yesterday. I should just call the blog Maybe A Pet Painting a Day If I Feel Like It.”
“Well, maybe you’re over thinking it.”
“Whatever. You don’t understand.”
Then I picked up my largest brush and stopped overthinking the whole thing and it came together quite well. I’m glad I thought of that.
“We lost Jake last month, and I would love for you to paint him. He was the most love able dog I have ever met! He wasn’t very old, but he had an old soul. He LOVED the coat he is wearing; I actually had a back up coat he could wear when I was washing one. . .I would look out the window and he would be chasing squirrels, running from tree to tree, with his coat on, of course.”
While painting this, I was thinking of Jake chasing squirrels in the afterlife, still wearing his stylish fur trimmed coat.
This week, I visited my local art supply store, Hartung Gallery in Portsmouth VA. It’s a small family owned business, and they have a great selection and really good prices for such a small establishment.
Sometimes, Mr. Hartung will get his hands on items from bigger stores that are closing down or getting rid of extra inventory, and he always sells them for a much lower price. I found a set of Golden brand Open slow drying acrylics, and decided to give them a try.
I LOVE THEM!
If you happen to paint with acrylics, but like the work-ability of oils, these are the perfect middle ground. I also purchased a Masterson sta-wet palette, and it’s another thing that I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get. The combination of the two makes using acrylics a lot easier and less wasteful.