Sunday, March 30, 2014


8x10 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
Not For Sale

When my friend asked if I would do a painting of their dog Buffy I said sure, not a problem. She gave me a few photos, and I chose this front look. It's a gift, and the gallery canvas sides are almost 2 inches thick - so it will sit on a shelf rather well. So I wanted the dog to look like he was on the shelf.

Whenever I start painting a pet portrait, I always start with the face. For me, it's all about the face - and if the face isn't going to work, I'd rather know early on so I can make adjustments or changes easily. 

Buffy was their family dog some 30 years ago (35 maybe). Great cocker spaniel that was so very much a part of the family. I knew Buffy back then, so I wanted this portrait to come out good. I started with the face, working colors, blending, putting in shapes. I paid no attention to the portrait, other than colors, values & shapes. Then I put the nose in, then the eyes - and BAM! Buffy jumped off the canvas at me! 

There was the dog I knew some 30-35 years ago, looking back at me. Funny how a photograph you haven't seen in a long time can surprise you, but a painting that you are doing is even more of a jump. In an odd way, I felt like I brought him back to life! Surprised indeed!

I'm quite happy with this painting & I hope she is too when I deliver. So glad I was able to "see" Buffy again. 

Artist's Note: Ironically, my little blue parakeet (named Blue) passed away today. Such a tiny, little bird - so delicate. She hasn't been doing well so it didn't come as a total surprise. Still, it's sad. I think I will paint Blue so I can always see her! I still have Green, her bonded mate. He will get a mirror tomorrow so he doesn't feel all alone. Sad for him too. 


Angela Sullivan said...

Sorry about your little birdie. It is so sad to loose a pet. Get that mirror. Everyone needs a friend.

Nan Johnson said...

Thanks Angela!

CrimsonLeaves said...

What a wonderful gift, Nancie. She came out wonderfully and I know your friend will be over the moon.

Too, I am so sorry for the loss of your Blue. I hope Green will be ok...

Nan Johnson said...

Thanks Sherry. I now spend extra time talking to Green. I'm sure he doesn't understand what has happened. I hope he does ok too!


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