Rosie & Flash's Sheltie Portrait

In creating this oil portrait of two Flash and Rosie, my aim was to create a painting that captured the true essence of these dogs. I wanted to create a realistic portrayal of the two Shelties, with as much detail as possible. Through the eyes of Flash and Rosie, I gained an understanding of their personalities and characters. My goal was to capture their calm and gentle dispositions and their kind natures. Each dog breed has their own physical characteristics, so I wanted to perfectly capture the shapes and proportions of these two Shelties as well.

Before I began painting, I came up with an idea of what I wanted the background of the portrait to be and thought of other small elements that I wanted to include. I thought about where the lightest areas would be, where the light would be coming from and which colors to use for the background. I wanted the colors in the background to be reflected in the two Shelties in order to create a realistic portrait. I also tried to find the right angles and created a sketch from which to start and to use as a guide. I started painting over the sketches of each of the two pets with thin, dark oil paints. I tried to keep the color transparent and light. I added thin base colours to the background and created a transition between the background and the Shelties. I tried to create good light early on in the painting process. With each layer, I started painting the lightest and darkest areas and made sure to add the light and dark colors to the right places. With each layer, my focus was to find depth, colors and light in order to create a very detailed depiction of the two shelties.

When painting the dogs’ fur, I had to create a variation in length and color. I also had to take into consideration that the hair grows in different directions on different parts of the body, including the face. When applying hair strokes, I painted from the direction that the hair would be growing in. In this way, I was able to achieve a very realistic texture in the dogs’ hair. In the areas of the dogs’ faces where the hair was short, I used a smaller brush to create the detail and texture needed. For the longer hair elsewhere on their bodies, I used a larger brush which could hold more paint and I used black and white colors to realistically depict the dogs’ two-tone fur,

My final creation is a detailed, superior oil painting portrait of Rosie and Flash. I was able to capture the nature and personality of each dog perfectly. This painting is something the owner of the two dogs can treasure for years to come.