pet portrait commissioned painting by amira rahim

30 in 30: Day 16 “Zoey” Pet Portrait + Process Photos

pet portrait commissioned painting by amira rahim
“Zoey” 16×16″ acrylics on canvas, commission

Hey guys! Today it rained in Abu Dhabi and stormed with hail in other parts. It’s been a gray, cloudy day, and I’m not complaining. I decided to spend my day indoors and get to some of the commissions ahead of me. This is of a sweet dog named Zoey who passed away recently. She was a joy to paint. I loved capturing her coat and sweet nature. I had many photos to choose from, but thought this captured her in a simple, but pretty light.

I decided to capture the process and share it with you, so here it goes:

This was the reference photo. After a few sketches and composition options, I decided the zoomed in crop of her face and collar would be best.
This was the reference photo. After a few sketches and composition options, I decided the zoomed in crop of her face and collar would be best.
After working out the drawing in pencil, I then went over it in black gresso, bringing in the basic shapes and shadows that would define the painting.
After working out the drawing in pencil, I then went over it in black gresso, bringing in the basic shapes and shadows that would define the painting.
Since the owner wanted a fairly realistic rendition of Zoey, I knew I wouldn't be using much color in this piece. So, I decided to tone the canvas in magenta. It makes for a nice graphic effect against black and white, and it is feminine, which can reflect the dog's sex.
Since the owner wanted a fairly realistic rendition of Zoey, I knew I wouldn’t be using much color in this piece. So, I decided to tone the canvas in magenta. It makes for a nice graphic effect against black and white, and it is feminine, which can reflect the dog’s sex. After the first layer dries, it’s time for the fun stuff! Time to paint!
I used Paynes grey, titanium white, raw umber, and indian red for most of the fur and features. I also decided to lift some of the highlighted areas with a little cerulean blue.
I used Paynes grey, titanium white, raw umber, and indian red for most of the fur and features. I also decided to lift some of the highlighted areas with a little cerulean blue.
Propped my iPad up on the easel for most of the painting. As you can see, I painted from the photograph without any editing or fiddling. Just dove right in. I really need to invest in an iPad stand since I use my iPad so much in the studio!
Propped my iPad up on the easel for most of the painting.  I really need to invest in an iPad stand since I use my iPad so much in the studio! After this, I added the whiskers and detail in the collar. I also adjusted the values in some smaller areas.

I’m happy with how well the portrait came out. I don’t typically paint dogs or cats, but some are just adorable and this girl was no exception. The final portrait moved the original owner to tears, so I can say, my job here is done. All on a rainy day’s work!

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