sharolyn's pet portraits

one of a kind pet portraits

Stella and Cylus

Over a year ago now, I was commissioned to do a double portrait. The owner’s dog, Stella is on the right and Cylus, Stella’s best friend (the husky) is on the left. This is their favorite shady spot. Unfortunately Cylus was no longer with them and Stella was getting on in years, so her owners decided it was time to get a portrait done.


This was the photo they gave me along with a few others for character and coloring etc. I also visited their home (since they were in my area) and took a few pictures of my own and got the chance to meet Stella.

This was the pose they liked, but the background was open for my interpretation. Initially I had planned to keep the background really matte and basic, but as you’ll see, I ended up giving the background full detail because it just felt right. I appreciated having the leeway to decide on the ultimate look of the painting.

Because the image was dominated by shadow, I started with a black and grey under painting. This is a fun process, blocking out lights and darks.

This is the final result. Ultimately, the background retained a lot of detail. The dappled light falling between leaves and in shadowed areas was just too amazing to skip over. I felt it added to the piece and a matte background would not have worked as the dappled light on their coats needed context. The painting was deliberately cropped in closer to the subjects to feature them better.

This was my first double portrait and I greatly enjoyed it!



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