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Man’s Best Friend In Progress

Man’s Best Friend in Progress

For the last few years I have participated in the Lupus Foundation Charity fashion show. Last year I donated a dog portrait. The recipient cashed in so she would have a special gift for her husband, a portrait of their beloved dogs Lucy and Daisy.

I love animals so it goes without saying how much I enjoy painting them. I took some step by step shots of my process. I thought I would share that with you now.

The first thing I do, after taking photos, is to get the sketch worked out to get a pleasing composition and accurate details of the subject

C Dog Sketch

Taking pictures of these dogs was a challenge. They were both very excited so to get them to sit in the exact position I needed for the format of the painting, well, just wasn’t going to happen.

The beauty of painting is the “power” I have to manipulate elements such as body parts, what’s in the painting and where things are placed. It  is totally under my control. Mwoahahaha!

Hehe! In this case I used different photos of different poses and placed the dogs as I wanted them. Lucy, the dog in the back was a bit camera shy so I only caught one or two shots of her looking my way so I used one of those heads on the body I liked.

Once my charcoal sketch is to my satisfaction, I use a color called yellow ochre to hold the sketch while I begin the painting. It’s a color easily covered and I don’t lose the drawing.

The next step is a foundation layer of paint. I often use a warm color like a yellow orange or straight

orange. In this case a red light to “glow” through the top layers emphasizing the warmth of the sun and creating and interesting vibration.

At this stage I begin to add the sunlit areas and the shadow areas. This creates atmosphere  for the day and the beginning colors to describe the dogs.


Here I continue to develop the background bringing in more details. It’s important for the animals to become a part of their surroundings but yet stand out as the focal point.

CDog 2

Final painting where all those magical finishing touches take place to make them come alive!

Cdogs Final

Thank you for reading this. I would so appreciate your sharing this to your facebook wall.

If you want your favorite furry friend painted, please reach out to me at for more information.

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