Creating a likeness, whether it be of a person, a cat or a dog or any other pet animal, is not always easy. It is difficult enough to draw or paint an animal or human that is not known by the viewer, but to paint a portrait so that it actually looks like the specific person or animal is even more difficult. Not only do you want to let it look like the model, but you also need to portray the personality or character.
When you do a portrait painting it normally looks very "dead" for most part. You make it come alive when you start with the eyes. And the eyes of a person or animal, done right, tell about the personality. If you don't get the eyes right, it would look like the person's twin or a total other dog or cat. There are a whole lot of technicalities to remember when painting the eyes concerning proportions, highlights and shadows, which will make it easier to do the eyes if you follow those rules. Remember when you do eyes, it says that the eyes is the window to the soul. That is truly so. Once you put the highlights in the eyes, the portrait really comes alive.
I took this photo of a friend's dog, Bennie, two years ago.
And last year December I made this painting for her as a Christmas gift. I changed the background a bit to give it some colour. I think I was fortunate to capture the likeness and to create the eyes. But you be the judge - leave a message to let me know what you think. I can now see the one eye is a bit too small - too much white. I will have to fix that!!
If you are interested in a portrait of your own dog, you can visit my website and get into contact with me and I will send you a quote and other information.