Painting My First Pet Portrait

Painting My First Pet Portrait
8x10 oil on canvas by Amber Honour "Brittany Spaniel Dog Portrait"
8×10 oil on canvas by Amber Honour “Shanzi”

This week I took a very much-needed break from landscapes to paint my first pet portrait. I’ve been itching to paint my dog, Shanzi for a while now. Running into pet portraits on Pinterest and the WP Reader has only fueled my desire to paint her. For my first try, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I think it captures The Shiz perfectly and it was really fun to paint. 

I dug out a picture I had taken 4-5 years ago (man, time flies) for this painting. These days my old dog has quite a bit more white on her face and a little less bounce in her step. It might be fun to do a whole series of her from puppy to senior. Or maybe just a series of animals. I have two cats and a whole host of extended family pets and nature photos that would be fun. Plus, my sister-in-law just got a pig for her birthday. The possibilities are endless.

Half way through this painting I realized that I had used up my last canvas and needed to build some more. I love painting small 8×10’s but I’ve been thinking about working bigger. A large painting is more impressive, but it also takes more time to finish, and I have far less available space to store them. I’ve been asked several times by family and friends about when I’m going to start painting bigger. I’ve put it off for a while because I know I can quickly finish a small painting, and I’m a little intimidated by large canvases. I’ve painted large before and have two larger paintings in progress right now. It’s just that I’m far more productive and comfortable working small. The large projects linger while I whip out small paintings. How do other artist deal with this problem?

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