The MOST CRUCIAL PART of Painting Your Dog

There is a stage in creating your painting, that YOU (my client) have 99% control.

I have a process in painting ANY dog for it’s owner.  I work from photographs, then to preparatory studies on paper - next onto outline on canvas & finally then onto your full and finished painting. The crucial stage is below.

This essential stage makes all the difference in my creating ‘a lovely painting’ to an ‘outstanding, jaw dropping shezazzle of a dog painting’.  

This stage is the ‘NOT FINISHED YET’ email exchange between us.

This email sets you in control.  The simple photographs in it (probably about 3 or 4) will be of your dog in process.  It shows you how I have set your dog on the canvas, the shade of the colour background selected and the overall tone that I’ve chosen to best reflect your dog.

You get to sit with your photographs for a while, to share with with significant others and reflect on how you feel that your painting is coming along.

Below is an example of a painting I’m working on right now.  Otto is a beautiful, big bear of a Golden Retriever that lives in the US with his family who have commissioned a painting of him.  We are working on a big painting for this beautiful big dog. Of course, this painting is not finished yet ‘NOT FINISHED YET’ and you can read our email exchange below real time. Golden Retriever, Not finished yet!

On Friday (it’s now Monday) I sent the following email to Neil.


Good morning Neil & family.

I've been working on Otto, more about his composition than anything and think I'm happy with the following.  Don't even think about him as a painting, more just the composition.

His background is not the dark blue yet, just dark and he is absolutely not painted!  Just shaped in.

Love to know what you think.  He is on a canvas size of 60 x 60cm, we can go bigger to 80 x 80cm but for me, I think he's working well on this size.

Enjoy the pics and hope you enjoy!


This is the email that Neil sent back to me this morning.


Hi Sam

Many thanks for sharing. He looks great already, even at composition stage.  You are very talented.

We agree on size and it’s helped decide no tennis ball.  He looks so striking against a dark background.

Love his position on the canvas and you have his shape and sit captured perfectly.  Looking forward to what comes next and seeing those big floppy ears and dark brown eyes come to life!

Many thanks



Of course, I asked for Neils permission to share our correspondance and I’m grateful to him for allowing me to share.

By writing this post, I’m offering you a flavour of what is a great process between, dog, dog-owner and artist! Seeing his painting in process, Neil & his family could make decisions about any props in their painting (Otto’s tennis ball) and check the composition of his painting whilst it’s still in the making.

You are involved in your painting and I love that!  No scary surprises, just my promise to make you the best painting of your dog that you could wish for.

Of course, if you wish to keep it a surprise, I’m happy to work alone too!

Best, Samantha

One mention here about my Gift Certificates which are now available to purchase as Christmas presents.  It’s the very same process, just I get to work with the owner of the dog 1:1. You can read more about them here...