I painted this dog portrait of Donna’s prized Ace from the photo provided. My goal with this oil painting was to produce a high-quality depiction of Ace that would be memorable and aesthetically unique.
I wanted it to be a powerful portrait. That’s why I placed Ace at the front and centre of the painting. You’ll notice Ace’s full body encompasses a good portion of the canvas. This was quite a deliberate decision on my part. Ace seems to have a pensive and thoughtful presence to him. I wanted that to come through the canvas right to the viewer. His eyes are particularly impressive and striking. He stares directly at the viewer, almost as if he’s inviting you to interact with him at some level.
I know a lot of dog owners will understand it when I say there are times that animals express an intelligence that seems uncanny, almost human-like. Although I’m not trying to anthropomorphise Ace in this portrait, I did want this intelligence to come through in Ace’s eyes and in his posture.
Ace’s stance is quite powerful in this portrait. He certainly doesn’t cower. He carries himself with dignity. His bearing is sturdily on all fours. His ears are alert. He is the entire focal point of this portrait. To emphasise this further, I painted a neutral background. There are no extraneous background details to take your eye away from our subject.
I worked diligently at showing the texture and coloration of Ace’s coat. He really does have a striking tri-colored coat. Within each of the three main colors (sable, tan and white), I painted the variations of shades. I used different sized brushes and strokes to get the layering effect needed to illustrate the texture of his coat. I also wanted to show the texture of the mat Ace was standing on. It contrasts nicely with the texture in his fur, both in colour and in the roughness of the mat itself. Achieving a three-dimensional effect on this mat was important to me because it’s the only other physical element we have in this portrait beside the dog.
I envision this oil painting hung in a well-lit, accessible area. It would do well in a living room or any area where people are likely to congregate. I say this because it feels like it would be a focal type of portrait, one that would be admired by many dog lovers and one that would be a conversation piece at gatherings.
As a Pet Portrait Artist with many years of experience, my hope is always to please the devoted animal owner who has entrusted me with the important task of memorialising their pet in an artistic fashion.