I was commissioned to do a small portrait of a little dog who had passed away.  This was for a surprise birthday present and to provide a lovely reminder of a much loved pet.

They didn’t want something very big and wanted to be able to incorporate her dog tag into the frame. I had my framer create a 12″x12″ box frame which can stand or hang.
The reference photo was really clear although I wanted to crop it to just her head and neck and remove the lens flare from her right eye.

The finished painting.  8″x8″ pastel on velour


Molly’s reference photo
Using the orange velour again for this one.  Love this
as an undertone for warmth.  I want the background
to be very neutral though with just a bit of gradient
in tone from left to right to show some direction of light.


Starting to layer the fur from the top of her head


You can see clearing the individual marks of the fur
made with edges of Unison pastels mostly.   I tend to
use loose marks with little blending for fur unlike
when trying to create skin for a human portrait.  I
also use pastel pencils and paper stump blenders
for smaller detail around the eyes.



I have Molly’s little tag to display in the box frame
so I want to include it in the painting.  The rest of the
fur get’s blended into the background slightly so there
is a nice fade around the edges of her neck.


Molly in her frame with her little tag.  This tag
brought her back after getting lost in the snow
one year so I included some slushy footprints
along the bottom.


If you would like something similar created I’m open to your input and ideas and will try and come up with something special for you.  Just e mail photos to info@emmacolbertart.com.