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Cockapoo Portrait Challenge

My most recent commission was one of the most challenging I've had to date. I love how it turned out, but at first I wasn't sure I could pull it off. The commission was for a cockapoo named Ginger, who recently passed away. (Ginger's owner is going to be receiving the painting as a surprise gift from his daughter, whom I will refer to as T since I don't want to give away her surprise!).

A quick shot of me, painting in progress:

me working on Ginger's portrait

Here's how the portrait turned out. I staged this shot in my bedroom so you can see how a 12x12 gallery wrapped canvas looks in a room:

photo of dog portrait on nightstand

The problem with executing this painting is that T only had three very blurry photos of Ginger. Very blurry! I couldn't really see anything of her features:

I decided to use a crop of one of the photos and then improvise on the features by looking at the other two photos for reference. I also googled a lot of photos of cockapoos! (I'm sure my Facebook feed will be full of ads related to cockapoos for a while to come.)

After making a little progress, I didn't like where it was headed. That bump that looks like a pillow is actually the stomach of T's father! I decided it wasn't working out in the painting and it just didn't really look like my style. So I ended up starting over and going with a closer crop. Here's how it progressed:

T and I had to do a little back and forth to make sure I was painting Ginger's features accurately. In the third photo above, she noted that the face was too round. So in the finished painting, her face looks longer. I really hope Ginger's dad will see his beloved pet in these eyes. I've decided my nickname for her is Ginger Cakes. You were a very loved dog, Ginger Cakes. xoxo - Emily

cockapoo portrait

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