oil paintings and photography by Amber Honour

Black Dog Paint Along – Part 1

Black Dog Paint Along – Part 1
Black dog oil painting portrait
My Betty Painting

I don’t know that I’m necessarily qualified to conduct painting lessons, but I have been. My sister-in-law, Crystal was so proud of her rooster painting that she wanted to paint another one. This time we decided to paint the same subject so I can better explain the hows and whys.

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Crystal’s Betty Painting

I haven’t painted enough animals to appreciate what makes a difficult pose. My previous pet portrait of Shanzi was simplified because she was in profile. I hadn’t really thought of that as a factor when I chose that picture. I just used a photo I loved.

We had a photo shoot with Betty (the dog) right before painting so we had a bunch of photos to choose from. The reference photo we went with was the best example of the dog, but proved to be difficult to paint because of the angle of the head. It shows the far eye in semi-profile which is difficult to capture with paint.

Crystal and I are both struggling a bit with this painting. I had a really hard time with the far eye which is why it’s a muddy mess right now. Crystal had a hard time with the far eye and the muzzle. At the end of our paint session she decided to just scrub off the muzzle and work on it next time.

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Our sketches in my dining room/studio

Our sketches were pretty good, but not entirely accurate. I did a better job on the muzzle and neck, but she did a better job on the rest of the head. I don’t normally spend a ton of time on the sketch before moving on, but I probably should’ve had Crystal work on her’s longer so she wouldn’t struggle as much later. I’m making mistakes as a teacher. Hopefully, next time I’ll remember to be more patient.

Read more about this painting:

Black Dog Paint Along – Part 2



2 thoughts on “Black Dog Paint Along – Part 1”

  • Great that you’re trying new things! – I find that if I’ve done preliminary sketches of the actual object (rather than working straight off a photograph), it gives me a better sense of the object ‘in the round’ and helps to iron out what’s really going on in the reference photo later. Love your blue tints too by the way 🙂

    • Thank you! I didn’t want my black dog to be monochromatic. Black animals tend to have a blue sheen to them anyway so I figured it was the right move. I’ve never been much for sketching. I always just wanted to get right to it. I like your idea of getting a sense of the object in the round though. It makes a lot of sense.

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