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How to Paint a Picture of Your Dog

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SweetiePie is an artist and animal lover who enjoys sharing her passion for painting with others in the online community.

Learn how to paint a portrait of your dog in 10 easy steps.

Learn how to paint a portrait of your dog in 10 easy steps.

Dog Painting 101

Painting a picture of your own dog doesn't have to be a difficult task. I decided to sketch and paint a picture of my dog, Buster, who was a loyal friend and family pet that passed away in 2007.

Have you ever seen the movie Marley and Me? It's a touching tale about how John Grogan raised a really wild but lovable dog. In many ways, Buster reminds me of Marley. I identified with how Marley ate drywall because Buster used to do that, too!

he movie inspired me to paint a picture to celebrate Buster's life. He was a mixed-breed Siberian Huskey/Boxer dog, and his life was not in vain! Follow along with my process and learn how to paint your own dog in 10 simple steps.

This photograph of Buster was used as a reference for the dog painting.

This photograph of Buster was used as a reference for the dog painting.

1. Select a Photograph of Your Pet

Choose a photo to reference when sketching a picture of your pet. I decided to use one of Buster from his backyard back in October of 2002.

Here I have sketched out the outline of Buster's face.

Here I have sketched out the outline of Buster's face.

2. Sketch the Outline

I lightly sketched out the dimensions of Buster's face on the canvas, which will make painting easier later on.

Here I have added the eyes, nose, and mouth to Buster's face.

Here I have added the eyes, nose, and mouth to Buster's face.

3. Begin Adding Details

I began sketching out the eyes, nose, and mouth on Buster's face. I also added in the ears, jawline, and Buster's color marks.

Here I shade in the darker portions of Buster's face.

Here I shade in the darker portions of Buster's face.

4. Continue Adding Details

Keep adding details to give your outline more definition. You can also highlight areas you want to be lighter or darker.

Here I begin to add the lighter portions to Buster's face.

Here I begin to add the lighter portions to Buster's face.

5. Paint in the Lighter Portions

I used beige-colored oil paint to begin filling in the lighter portions of Buster's face. White paint will be added later on to add even highlights.

Here I use sienna paint to outline the features of Buster's face.

Here I use sienna paint to outline the features of Buster's face.

6. Outline the Features

Using a small brush, I outlined the jawline, the face, the ears, the eyes, and the darker portions of Buster's face. Later, I will go in and add more layers of paint. For now, the sienna color helps distinguish the more shadowy portions of the face.

In this step I continue to fill in the lighter portions of Buster's face.

In this step I continue to fill in the lighter portions of Buster's face.

7. Fill More In

Continue to paint in the beige portions. The sienna-colored outlining helps me stay in the lines.

Here I have finished painting in the beige portions of Buster' face.

Here I have finished painting in the beige portions of Buster' face.

8. Finish Painting the Lighter Areas

Here I have finished painting in the beige portions of Buster's face, so now I can move on to the darker parts of his visage.

Gray tones of paint are used here to achieve the dark portions on Buster's cranium and ears.

Gray tones of paint are used here to achieve the dark portions on Buster's cranium and ears.

9. Begin Painting in the Darker Areas

I mixed sienna, black, and white paint together to achieve the gray color to use on Buster's face. I used white paint to highlight parts of the darker regions.

Continue to paint the darker portions of Buster's face.

Continue to paint the darker portions of Buster's face.

10. Fill in More of the Dark Portions

Continue filling in the darker portions. The painting is not done as of yet, but part one has demonstrated how painting your pet is definitely a labor of love. Happy painting, and remember to use the style that works best for you!

Comments

Loading... on May 23, 2018:

I will definitely be back for part two sweetie pie! I tried this step by step tutorial it worked great, and I loved it! (I loved yours and mine!)

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on January 24, 2011:

Thank you Medora!

Medora Trevilian on January 24, 2011:

SweetiePie, it's really great that you are commemorating Buster like this. I love the step by step way you show the process, too!

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on December 05, 2009:

Thanks for the comment Aguvulpes. I have part two up if you want to see it :).

Peter from Australia on December 04, 2009:

SweetiePie great start with your picture. I'm waiting patiently for the finished painting. :-)

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 20, 2009:

Army Infantry Mom,

I can tell you are an artist, and I hope to see some of your art work some day. Hopefully you can write some hubs about it. I miss Buster so much, and I still think of him as the diplodog because he used to love to shake hands. One time my hands were busy emptying the dryer, and the minute they were free a paw came right into my hand because he wanted to shake so bad :). Such good memories.

Jowax,

Glad to hear you liked it dear. Thanks for the lovely compliment :).

jowax on November 19, 2009:

wow wonderful,thankx darling

Army Infantry Mom on November 19, 2009:

I love painting, a hobby of mine infact. You are doing a great job on your painting of Buster. I had a dog like buster before (Chelsa),..miss her very much. To bad these great dogs couldn't of been cloned. Look forward to seeing the painting when your finished.

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 18, 2009:

I appreciate your comments C.S. Alexis!

C.S.Alexis from NW Indiana on November 17, 2009:

Looking forward to part two Sweetie. Thumbs up!

SweetiePie (author) from Southern California, USA on November 17, 2009:

Paradise,

You are very sweet. Actually there is a great video on Youtube that I discovered last night that makes painting a dog very easy, even if you do not know how to draw. I will try and send you this video is you are interested.

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on November 17, 2009:

Hmmm... Sweetie Pie, you make it look SO EASY!