Animals are so much fun to paint, especially a dog. Dogs have so much personality! They remind us of ourselves. Their antics are a relief and a laugh in our stressed out, high pressure world. Dogs come in so many shapes, sizes and colors and make us laugh and cry. They engage us with affection, protection and calmness. I’ve painted a few dogs and even a wolf in the last couple of years
But what makes dogs so special to me is the absolute love, loyalty, and joy they have for their owners. The excitement a dog has for you when you come home just can’t be matched. Our kids, co-workers and spouses may take us for granted sometimes, but not our dogs! They have boundless love and enthusiasm.
So last year when we ran our free pet portrait contest, I got lucky. You read that correctly, yes the winner was picked by a machine and they soon will be the fortunate owners of a beautiful pastel of their dog, but truly I got lucky! Why?
When you are an artist, some commission photos are better than others and some are downright difficult. But when I saw the “machine picked” winner, I thanked the Lord!
Here’s a picture of Doc and as you can see, the photographer marvelously captured Doc with all four feet off the ground!
To give you an idea of this stunning feat, look at the size of Doc with his owners.
He is a BIG dog. Average weight for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is 132-154 pounds. You can read more about them here.
The prize was to be an 8 x 10 pastel, but I just couldn’t do it. To do Doc justice, I just had to use 14 x 11 painting grounds. Here is my start:
I reformatted the view of Doc to make him front and center, to show that amazing joy and love running right toward the viewer. Here he is with a start of some color
Now I’m gaining a bit more locomotion on his coloring and personality, but the tongue and details are yet to come
Here is Doc below finally finished in all his delightful glory. Such a magnificent creature designed by our Lord to give us joy and fellowship.
Dogs are often called “Man’s Best Friend”, and for many of us, that statement certainly rings true. But at the end of the day, a dog is still just a dog. What if there was a friend even better?
I believe the best friend we could ever have is Jesus. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
How magnificent that the Creator of the universe truly wants to be “Man’s Best Friend.” Surely Job (Job 37:5) was right when he said, “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.”
Write and tell me about your pets or your relationship with God. Feel free to drop in a picture of your own furry friend! And if you don’t consider yourself to have Jesus as your friend, I’d love the chance to talk to you about that too!