Hughes Brothers: Murphy

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A few years after I painted Junior, the next Hughes Brother came along: Murphy. A swell looking fellow, he had lighter coloring than your typical German Shepherd, and I accentuated that in the portrait. I think it’s a fair observation that German Shepherds need proper training to be their best at protecting their pack and accepting non-threatening strangers. In a neighborhood setting, you don’t want a dog that is aggressive towards everyone they see. So …

Hughes Brothers: Junior

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We have friends (hard to believe, I know, but it’s mostly The Missus’ fault – she’s too friendly), and among those friends are the Hughes family. Over the course of ten years, they have commissioned me to paint each of their three German Shepherds that have been part of their clan. This is the first, Junior. He had long ears, which I at first thought was a trick of the photos they gave me, but …

Detail of Ginger image

Ginger, but not MaryAnne

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I love repeat customers! This portrait is of Ginger, who belonged to the same owners as Bo. In this portrait, I really think I nailed the golden color of her fur. For some reason, I’ve struggled creating blonde and gold fur on these digital paintings. But this was the first where I felt confident all the way through without having to paint over weak areas. I think part of the recipe for success is not …

Bo Feature Image

Happy Bo

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Bo was a singularly happy Bernese Mountain Dog. Well, that’s not entirely correct. Every Berner I’ve known has been, without exception, a super happy camper, so it’s hard to say “this one is the happiest”. And though I never met Bo in person, the photos supplied for this memorial portrait certainly gave the impression of a very happy dog. Possibly it’s the breed, or, more likely, the loving pet parents. Normally, I try to focus …

Beorn in carbonite graphite

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I’ve been spending a lot of time working on my graphite drawing skills. I’m still not quite where I want to be, but each drawing makes me just a little better… and a little wiser. I’m trying to be more bold with my edges. The drawings I see from other artists who give tonal shapes sharper edges always look so much better than murky fades. Attempting sharp edges doesn’t always work for me in the …

Chuy feature image

Charming Chuy

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This is smilin’ Chuy. Like most little dogs, he makes up for a lack of physical stature by means of a massive personality. I love this portrait! Let me tell you why. First off, you can’t look at Smilin’ Chuy without smiling back. I think I captured his happy nature with this portrait. Secondly, in terms of technique, I love the sense of depth I created by carefully placing dark areas next to lighter areas. …

Hobee feature image


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It’s been a while since I posted a portrait (or anything else). I’ve got quite the backlog of portraits to show. Let’s start with one of my favorites. This is Hobee. Not much to say about this happy fella, except that I really like the way the bright blue background sets off the orangey tone of his head. I added some electric orange tones on his cheeks that create a nice glowing effect, making the …

Boris feature image

Thinking of Boris

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My yearly tribute to Boris, our big black Mastador who passed in 2019, this time featuring a new graphite portrait of the big guy.