How to Paint a Dog using Oil Paint

Or at least how I paint a dog using oils. Heres my version of events should you wish to use it in your own oil painting learning journey.

Step One - I sketch the image from a decent photograph. I start with the eyes and scale everything from this. So as I work my way through the painting, if I lose focus, I refer back to the eyes and use them as my pivot point.

Step 2 - I start to add the darker tones, Paynes grey and mars black for the nose. Burnt umber and burnt Sienna for the eyes.

Step 3 - Once my darker tones are in I begin to add the colours in, sticking to a limited pallet of Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna and burnt Sienna mixed with either titanium white to lighten or mars black to darken. I used a flat brush size 8 for this painting, which gives interesting strokes that aren't too neat.... just the way I like it.

Step 4 & 5 - I started to build up the colours being careful not to over mix the layers and muddy up the painting.

Step 6 - More detail added around the eyes and nose, and using a finer brush I add some fur detail into the picture.

Step 7 - the background is added using a number 12 flat to create the large, random brush strokes. First I added a lighter layer and then placed a darker layer over the top to create depth.

Step 8 - I added an even darker layer of background just around the dogs head to help him pop out of the painting. Then I finished by revisiting the ears and the edges of the face to define his face from the background.

And Finally....... Voila ...... he is finished!

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