View Full Version : Diesel: In Memory of a Well Loved Pet

03-27-2015, 04:01 PM
A friend and her family lost their well loved family pet, a Boxer dog named Diesel, around the first of the year. They mentioned wanting a painting of their pet as a memory and I decided to give it a try. This was a very difficult painting for me to accomplish. In fact, at times I called it the painting from hell because I just couldn't seem to get it right. Part of the problem is that it required me to paint very realistically and I've been moving away from that lately.

I think I am finished and since I plan to give the painting to the family at Easter, I decided to get some feedback from my friends at WC.

Here is Diesel, done on 14 x 18 gallery wrapped canvas:


Please give me your feedback.

03-27-2015, 04:39 PM
I love the painting. His eyes are so beautiful. They will be proud.

Charlie's Mum
03-27-2015, 04:40 PM
Judy, you have very pronounced hair texturing in some parts but not in others - perhaps take away some of the smoothness in the big areas and on the ears - give some texture and shine?

I can tell it's a boxer!:) ... but one eye surround also seems more pronounced than the other? - you certainly have that bulging eye look they have.
Can you add some shadow behind his jowls and under his chin to send the neck back a bit?

Perhaps if you show the ref we might be able to help a bit more.:)

03-27-2015, 04:56 PM
Thank you Silverlady and Maureen for your comments. I so appreciate them.

Maureen, you are so right about the eyes. I didn't see it until you pointed it out but the eye on the right is more pronounced than the left. I will work on that.

I will also take advantage of your other comments and make some adjustments to the hair texturing and the shadows. As for posting the reference, since this is meant to be a surprise, I had to resort to using a couple pictures my friend posted on Facebook, not the most helpful, and since they are not my photos, I'm reluctant to post them here.

Charlie's Mum
03-28-2015, 09:06 AM
That's a 'normal' difficulty when painting pet portraits :rolleyes: .... even with the owner's knowledge, refs are usually less that suitable! In such a case, you've done well with limited ref resource!!:)

03-28-2015, 10:23 AM
Great portrait, Judy. The eyes are particularly striking and well done! I agree with Maureen about the other comments. A bit more attention to values and textures will really bring this one alive. The forms and colours all seem to be well in place, so it's just that tiny bit of tweaking. I am sure your friends will love and appreciate your work.

03-28-2015, 11:13 AM
You probably put too much pressure on yourself because it is such a special portrait. I guess it's too late now to say just relax and enjoy painting a dog. Try to have fun with the finishing touches.

03-29-2015, 05:15 PM
Thanks Colin and Michelle for your comments. I spent some time today tweaking the painting, using the suggestions from Maureen and I like it better. And Michelle, I took your advice and did enjoy it a bit more. Of course, I knew I was in the home stretch. :D

Charlie's Mum
03-30-2015, 06:21 AM
:clap: :clap: :) - that's you relaxed!!!:)

03-30-2015, 02:00 PM
I think it looks great - a few more finishing touches and a job well done. If it's any consolation I finally finished a painting of a colleague's pets. It got to the point where I simply called it "Dead Pets". I can relate to these portraits being paintings from hell!!!

03-30-2015, 05:06 PM
Thanks Jennifer for your understanding and encouragement. I am much happier with the painting now that I've done the tweaks. :crossfingers: the family likes it.