Dog Pet PortraitWhen our pets become sick, it can be soul crushing. What can we do? Everything possible, right? Countless vet visits, deciding which drug regimen will be best suited, and sometimes surgeries. But then there’s the love we pour onto our furry friends. I often ask my husband if he thinks Henry knows how much we love him. Unequivocally, YES, every one of our pets know they are loved and cared for!

Dog Pet PortraitI want to introduce you to two amazing beings – one is a human, and the other is her best friend – her dog. Maggie is the very talented writer of OhMyDogBlog. With a strong sense of community and compassion, she writes about dog-related topics as well as her pets. She has a house full beautiful dogs and cats, a foster dog included, who are all happy, loved, and doted on every single day by Maggie and her husband.

See that brilliantly happy face up there? That’s Emmett, Maggie’s best friend, and faithful companion. Maggie recently learned that Emmett is sick with cancer. And unfortunately, it is incurable. But Maggie is truly amazing. She has come up with the best possible way to conquer the sadness that often overwhelms us when faced with such a circumstance. She created a bucket list for Emmett! What’s on this list? Things that make this pup the luckiest ever: steak dinner, ice cream, a road trip(!), and a portrait to memorialize his happy and easy-going disposition.

I am honored and blessed to have the opportunity to work on Emmett’s portrait. The background I modeled after what’s known in photography as bokeh, or an out-of-focus shimmer of light. I was inspired to try a background like this because I wanted to heighten a sense of joy and light within the painting. For Emmett, I have laid down a monotone underpainting. It’s a great foundation for a portrait I am grateful to be a part of!

The Process

Dog Pet PortraitEmmett’s coat is predominately black and brown, but it is filled with specks of colors – from yellows and oranges, to creams, and even a shimmer of red. And let’s not forget a little dusting of grey around his mouth, which I find so very endearing. The layer of paint I’m working on now will serve as a foundation for all these colors and details. I will continue in this fashion until his face and body are completely coated.


Dog Pet PortraitI am now in a great position to start all the wonderful details that make Emmett unique! Every inch of this face and body have a base layer of paint, and now it’s time for the good stuff! I really like how the mouth came out and now, you can really see the painting coming together!


Dog Pet PortraitAh, the details! This has got to be my favorite part of the painting process! As in every painting, I want to start from the left and work my way towards the bottom right. This is so I don’t drag my hand through wet paint, since I am right-handed. I have added Emmett’s brindle colors on his muzzle and forehead. I also added his sweet little grey beard hairs around his mouth and nose. From here, I continue to add such details until I’m finished.


Dog Pet Portrait

After hitting a good stride with Emmett’s painting, I was able to complete it! I added all the important details – the whiskers, his grey beard, the texture of his mouth, the twinkle in his eye. I also lightened the background just a little more and added some points of sparkle. The truth: I’m going to miss having this painting sitting on my easel. I’m going to miss this beautiful and gentle soul smiling at me each time I sit down in my studio. But, the excitement of sending it to Maggie and knowing that this painting will hang proudly on her wall makes me itch to send it away!

I invite you to visit Maggie’s Facebook page to follow along with her four-legged clan, and see Emmett and his brothers in action.

Want to get updates on my new projects? Head on over here!