Category Archives: Dogs, Pet Portraits

What’s On My Easel



I have a number of drawing and painting projects and as well as studies going on at the moment, but I have found time to get back to the portrait of Diesel. An oil painting is often best worked on later rather than sooner. Extra time gives each layer a chance to dry before I paint on top of it. There were times when I thought something was dry enough to paint on top of, had even used a drying medium to speed things up, but it was a bit too soon to have proceeded.

The devil is often in the tiny details. I have no exact method for layering, glazing and choice of mediums. Linseed oil, for example, would keep the painting wet longer if I think the right look for the piece calls for blending as opposed to layering. Once I have started a painting, it is really only then, and as I go along that I become more clear about what it needs.

Layering is in itself a way of blending. Because I decided to redraw and repaint the chair, the blue paint overlapped the edges of the dog, which gives the appearance of being blended or shaded. This blending/shading makes the dog look more three dimensional and part of the scene as opposed to appearing pasted on.

There are gold threads  running through this pattern, which I neglected to paint in the first time around. Doing the chair over again  gave me an opportunity to put the gold threads in first instead of trying to work them in around the details of the print on the chair. I mixed up my color, mostly yellow and white plus a hint of red and blue, and laid it on with a  palette knife.

A palette knife is the best and fastest way to do lines or stripes. It’s fun too! It can’t be exactly controlled which makes the strokes lively and energetic. If I’ve landed a little more of the paint than I meant to it is no problem. Part of the design is the same color and these “extra” bits of paint will contribute to the overall tying in of the composition.

I put a few dabs of the yellow paint mixture on the eyes and in the fur. The result was wonderful!

If you look behind the ear on the left, you will see part of the design, a bit of blue, where I have begun to repaint the pattern of the chair. I have a ways to go on this, but even if I had to backtrack to get going in the right direction, it was worth it.

I have been focused so much on the details, the HOW of how I am going to do this, the portrait aspect had begun to escape me. It can’t be explained exactly, but when I look at the painting now, I see more than a collection of hit and miss passes at a painting. I see Diesel, an adorable pet and much loved companion. 🙂