Painting a Custom Pet Portrait of a French Bulldog

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Meet Neal . . . an adorable French Bulldog, which I had the joyous opportunity to paint as a commissioned pet portrait. The miniature painting measuring just 3 ½ X 3 ½ inches was a surprise birthday present, and I was thrilled to play a part in making someone so very happy! With pet portraits I love learning something special about them, such as the soulful look in Neal’s eyes. Capturing that sweet look was of upmost importance, so after drawing him and laying in a few thin lines, I started painting on his eyes first thing. 

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Knowing that I had the eyes pretty much like I wanted them, I began painting on other areas. I like establishing value contrast at the beginning, so I chose to paint a basic outline of the nose and snout. 

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After filling it in with a basic dark wash, I painted a light pinkish wash in the ears, as well as a light tan on the body. Since I paint with watercolor, it dries pretty fast, although you can see it’s still wet in this photo.

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Then starts the task of slowly building up color, with multiple washes of paint.

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I much prefer slowly building up color, because painting with watercolor, once it’s down, it’s almost impossible to remove!

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Over time, the colors start to deepen and grow richer with each wash of paint.

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Once I had a good basic feeling with the fur, I started painting the blanket, on which he is laying.

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I painted a very light wash which will be the base color of the blanket.

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Then starts the fun, but tedious task of carefully painting in the intricate design, and for this, I pretty much draw with the paint brush.

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Slowly and very carefully I keep building color with my tiny brush until I’ve achieved the rich, dark red I desire.

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Next comes the first wash of paint on the background.

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I chose to use a lovely bluish gray color to compliment the nice warm coloration of his fur. At this point much time is spent painting texture in the fur, adding the darkest darks and finally the highlights, until I have it just like I want it. If you’d like to commission a pet portrait of your own special friend, EMAIL me for more info.

Now that I’ve shared with you several of the techniques I use to paint a pet portrait, here’s a video of the painting from start to finish on YouTube you’ll want to see, so CLICK HERE TO WATCH and Enjoy! 🙂

pet portrait french bulldog by rachelle siegrist

SEE OUR PAINTINGS IN PERSON

5th Birds of America Show
Opening this week at Francesca Anderson Fine Art, MA: April 20 – June 12, 2022

31st International Miniature Show
Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC: April 30 – May 28, 2022 (Our miniatures are already at the gallery and available for purchase)

Society of Animal Artists 2021 Exhibition
Remaining Tour Venue:
February 5 – May 5, 2022: The Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Hays, KS

To see our available miniature paintings as well as some upcoming shows, please

visit our WEBSITE  artofwildlife.com     Email us

Thanks for following me 🙂

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

Kayaking In Spring

kayaking near the smokies

Wes and I escaped to the water one day this past week, and I was delighted to be back in my kayak once again! It was a gorgeous, sunny day with abundant blue skies above, as we climbed into our kayaks and started paddling. Occasionally a big, fluffy, white cloud lumbered across the sky, temporarily erasing the sun for a few minutes, along its way. Of course, when that happened I had to put my legs back down inside the kayak where it felt warmer to them. We found a perfect spot for our floating picnic, adjacent to a large log covered with turtles in all sizes, who too were basking in the sun’s warmth.

A group of four commorants who were basking on the same log took turns diving into the clear water below, one right after another, appearing as if they were performing a water routine out of an old Esther Williams movie. While Wes fished, I just paddled along occasionally stopping to let myself be fully encapsulated in the peaceful, quiet surroundings, totally void of all manmade noise, and it was sheer heaven, to say the least! At one point we pulled our kayaks onto a small pebble beach and got out to stretch our legs for a while. Wes fished and I explored a little, even wading out into the frigid water a couple of times.

rachelle siegrist kayaking

Soon we were back in the kayaks paddling along, and I could hear the wind approaching from way around the bend. I watched as the trees and bushes bent and swayed until it surrounded me, covering the surface of the clear water with thousands of ripples. Of course, each time I’d wait until it passed before I continued paddling. Later we found a great spot for our chocolate snack. There we sat eating our chocolate, whilst listening to the birds and sounds of the cascading water, fully absorbed in the tranquility. Heading back I passed underneath clusters of black locust blossoms, paddling up to a low-lying limb and burying my face in the blossoms at one point, and the smell was simply divine! No wonder there were so many bees and butterflies attracted to this rich nectar source!

We were delighted to have enjoyed being mostly by ourselves for the day. Toward the end, however, we heard something hollering off in the distance, which sounded almost like a gibbon, and we couldn’t figure out what it was. Then we saw a canoe, and as it grew closer we could tell that it had two people and a dog in it, and it was the dog that was singing and carrying on, almost as if it thought it was the Pavarotti of the dog world! It was quite hilarious, to say the least. The sounds of the opera singing dog grew quieter until they finally rounded the bend, at which point we were drawing nigh to the boat ramp. We climbed out of the kayaks, loaded them up, and started the drive home, feeling so thankful for such a wonderful day! Enjoy this video I made for you, so you too can go on the kayaking adventure with us!


~  See our miniatures in these shows (currently online only) this week  ~

 (Other shows have closed with upcoming exhibitions pending. Check the website for updates.)

The Art of the Miniature XVIII
May 3 – June 14, 2020: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, P

29th Annual International Miniature Art Show
May 2 – 30, 2020: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

15th Masterpieces in Miniature
May 2 – 30, 2020: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada


Want to enjoy your special friend as a miniature painting?
                                             
. . . Then commission us to do just that! Email photos for consideration to us at
yorkie dog painting by Rachelle Siegrist

~  ( )  ~

Visit our Website ~ artofwildlife.com

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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle

Springtime In The Smokies

I thought I’d do something a little different this week, so instead of just talking about our various gardens, flowers, and critters, and sharing a few photos, I decided to make a video for you, which I hope you’ll enjoy. I mixed in sections of me walking our paths, to make it feel as if you’re walking the trails with me, whilst enjoying seeing the various flowers, insects, and birds. I know how very much I’ve been enjoying watching hiking videos during these past few weeks, with not being able to get out and hike ourselves, and thought it a great time to make just such a video, so you too can enjoy a “hike” here in the Smokies during springtime . . .  So Enjoy!

I thought I would reshare this wonderful video as well of our kayaking trip last March when the toads were singing their delightful springtime serenade all around us the entire time we were paddling along, and it was such a treat!

Thanks for joining me on a couple of virtual outings, I hope you had as much fun as I did!

~  See our miniatures in these shows (currently online only) this week  ~

 (Other shows have closed with upcoming exhibitions pending. Check the website for updates.)

The Art of the Miniature XVIII
May 3 – June 14, 2020: Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA

29th Annual International Miniature Art Show
May 2 – 30, 2020: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC


Want to enjoy your special friend as a miniature painting?
                                             
. . . Then commission us to do just that! Email photos for consideration to us at

 

commission a Dog painting jpeg