I hae been looking forward to starting these two dog portraits for a while. They are both 16×12 inches and will be going out to the middle east when finished. I am not shipping them though. Luckily my client is collecting them and taking them back out for his wife as a surprise gift!

The first one up is the darker of the two retrievers, Baiza. He has a gorgeous deep red coat, I would think it was classed as that. The photo reference I was given has a little bit of lens distortion and made his nose look bigger than it should. I decided to adjust that slightly, not hugely but make his nose not look quite so big. Or Nozzle as my son used to call it! Love him. So amusing the things kids can come out with.

Morton will be next and he is much paler than his brother, so for the time being the blog is going to focus on Baiza.

Above is the reference photograph for Bazia. Gorgeous isn’t he. I think you can see what I mean about is nose. This is the beauty of commission pet portraits from photos as I can adjust so many things in your portrait for you. Nose too big, I can make it smaller. An ear is not pointing up, I can fix that for you. Eye dust, I can remove it, your dog is looking a little too distinguished with grey fur. I can darken it for you! All these things cannot be done with just a camera. Not to mention you will have a piece of art that will give you a lifetime of joy.

Below is the rough outline sketch of Baiza, I will be starting to fill in all the various shades, the building blocks of the portrait if you will, upon which I will add all the the finer details.

Sketch for Baiza's dog portrait, sketched out on clairfontaine pastelmat

I have also started filling in his eye, I can’t resist an eye!It also starts to bring pet painting to life and also it feels nice to have an eye looking at you, rather than an empty eye socket!

In between other jobs I have managed to snatch a few hours on Baiza’s og portrait today. Tomorrow I have a full studio day and I literally can’t wait to do some more on the these handsome dog portraits! I am mulling over a suitable background colour. I think I want it matching for both pet portraits as they have matching frames so it makes sense to do so. I am deciding between my usual go to cool grey/blue or maybe a warm colour. The trouble with the warm colour is depending on what shade I opt for one of the dogs could get lost in it a bit. So I think it may well be the grey/blue. I will see.

I finished Baiza’s eye and I am delighted with how it looks, and I have made good progress with the foundation shading of his portrait. I have even started adding some detail in places, but there is a lot more to go on his pet portrait with this. With a full day painting pet portraits tomorrow I will be able to get a lot done and hopefully even get to sketch Morton’s portrait out as well. I think perhaps when both are finished I will pick the background colour. I keep browsing through my dog portraits gallery for inspiration! However I am sure as they come together I know I will think of the answer! (I hope!)

I have really enjoyed working on these two, I have to say I suddenly realised how close my deadline was and that I really needed to get moving on these gorgeous pair. I decided yesterday and today to really get my head down and push through as suddenly the end of the month seems to be looming and I have 3 other pet portraits to get done before then, and the beginning of August is far from quiet. This is made doubly tricky by the kids being off and keeping them happy!

I decided on the purplish red/grey colour that I found a couple of years ago. It worked perfectly with both their colouring. I thought the pale blue would make the oranges too bright in Morton and not be enough of a contrast against Bazia. I am so glad I went with this colour. I think you will agree it looks great with both of them!

Beautiful dog pet portrait in pastels. A golden retriever called Morton on a purple grey backround

Beautiful golden retriever dog portrait on a greyish purple background, painted in pastels

Looking at this gorgeous pair on the screen I realise I need to look at calibrating my monitor again, they look like there isn’t enough contrast to them. I think the colours are nearly there, but it is about time I did it. I have’t even done it on my new laptop and it really needs to be a priority as I am planning some new wildlife pieces I want to get painted and prints sent over to Made In Kent. Anyway, here are the two do portraits. I am delighted with them and my job is to get them framed this weekend! I can’t wait to see that done!