Hunk the Basset Hound custom hand drawn portrait - featured

Custom Basset Hound portrait

“Hunk” 8×10 colored pencil, watercolor, and gouache on watercolor paper I had a few projects come up toward the end of the summer that kept be really busy with non-landscape painting — including this custom portrait drawing of Hunk the Basset Hound. I fell head-over-heels for Hunk! The way his mom described his personality as an irresistibly lovable tyrant definitely reminded me of our own dogs. And I was particularly smitten with his long hound face and ears because of our Dachshund, Bosco. Hunk’s mom provided the idea for the tilted crown (inspired by a Biggie Smalls photo with the…

Dog portrait drawing of Sparky the playful Australian Shepherd-Border Collie mix

I got a nice surprise when Meredith reached out to me to see if I’d like to work on a portrait of her dad’s dog. She loved the one her husband had commissioned me to do of their own dog, Ross, and wanted to give her dad the portrait for his upcoming birthday. Sparky is a playful Australian Shepherd-Border Collie mix who knows lots of tricks that his dad taught him. Meredith wanted to explore a Western cowboy theme, which I thought sounded like a lot of fun! I provided a few concepts for her to choose from, and she…

Gouache sketch of a French Bulldog

I’m still not in love with this grey toned sketchbook, but it’s pretty good for gouache. It seems to help me get a full value range with the opaque media. But I don’t really like it for sketching with pencil because it’s too hard to see the lines. The paper is also quite smooth, and I prefer more tooth. On the upside, the grey paper encouraged me to push this grey French Bulldog into blue territory, making it more stylized. I continued the illustration with my favorite little leaf doodles.

Sketchbook portraits of cute dogs in gouache and acrylic

As a big believer in the power of daily sketchbook exploration, I’m doing a mini-challenge of painting dogs in a variety of media. Partially to get better at drawing and painting dogs, but also as a vehicle for playing with different materials. Four small dog portrait sketches in acrylic (upper left) and gouache (the other three) This little grouping was made in my Stillman & Birn Nova sketchbook, which has grey toned paper. I wanted to warm up the surface so instead of the grey I applied a medium value ochre-ish color made from white gesso and acrylic paint. The…

First day plein air painting

My gouache sketch along the Neuse River Trail in Raleigh Well, you gotta start somewhere! My first plein air painting is under my belt and it feels great. The sketch is rough, with lots of room for improvement, but I’m so happy I got out there and finished one. View of the area I chose to paint I used gouache to get started because I wasn’t prepared to take acrylics out there on the trail yet. And I haven’t even cracked open my oils. Instead of purchasing an easel and paint box setup, I cobbled together some existing supplies to…