This is Milo, a portrait commission from 2021.
The key on most dog portraits (and, frankly, most every portrait, in my opinion) is the eyes. You could have the whole portrait nailed perfectly but if the eyes are wrong, everyone will notice and the portrait will not be successful. Alternatively, you can have flaws in the overall portrait (and I often do), but if the eyes are done well, you will likely be forgiven the other flaws.
I spend a lot of time on the eyes, but I often save the final touches for the last little bit. It's amazing how much life can be brought into the eyes by a simple judicious use of a reflective dot. That reflection suggests the eyes are wet and reflective, which further suggests the subject is alive and active. Without that little reflection, the eyes will ALWAYS look a bit dull and lifeless.
Spending some time learning how eyes reflect light from both outside AND inside also helps to bring them to life.
Love Your Pet Forever
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