A surprise pet portrait makes a great gift

Happy New Year everyone!

Here is a recent pet portrait commissioned by a friend for her significant other. She was going to be away over Christmas and arranged the painting commission as a surprise gift.

Willa, the lovely pooch on the left, really does have only one eye – ’tis not a mistake people.

New Mexico Dogs, Oil on Canvas, 18 x 18"
Willa and Pudu, Oil on Canvas, 18 x 18″

I tried to capture the initial reactions and expressions of the recipient at the “unveiling” in my studio. He was pleased. Surprise paintings make great gifts!

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Just add a dog

Advice for artists:

I’ve been testing a theory that if you don’t like a painting you’re creating, simply add a dog to the image. Now, I’ve only tried it out a few times but so far I’ve been quite happy with the results.

I’m not done working on this painting but thought I’d show you the pooch I painted in today. I was out on the town this Spring making my watercolor portraits of Portales when this guy scampered by, shaggy fur blowing in the breezes, sunlight catching his chinny chin chin. I snapped a photo for future use and am so glad I did. It made me deliriously happy to paint him.

Just ignore the chaos currently surrounding him… it will all be worked out soon 😉

Desert Dog (in progress detail), oil/canvas
Desert Dog (in progress detail), oil/canvas