This good boy is Wally. He belongs to my coworker's dad, and she asked me to do a painting of this old fella as a Christmas present. I'd never painted a dog before, so this presented an exciting challenge.
These were the two reference photos. I obviously relied very heavily on the first one, but used the second for some details. I did a couple sketches to work on proportions and form, then began the final piece on a 9x12in. hot press watercolor block. Here's what we ended-up with:
I'm pretty pleased with how he turned-out. I think the proportions could be better, but I think the "loose" style works well. My coworker seemed happy with the work, and there were a few tears when she finally saw the finished piece. Just a quick glance at the photos will tell you that Wally is a gentle, kind soul. If you spend a few hours looking at every detail on his face as you try to capture it on paper, maybe you get a deeper insight into his personality. And if you've known the dog for a lifetime as his family has, you know that there isn't a photo or painting in the world that could even begin to capture his true warmth and character. But that's the task set before me, and I am always grateful for the privilege to try.
I'm in the process of lining-up commissions for the winter, so if you're interested, please get in touch through the contact page HERE.