Friday, 3 February 2017

Blue Heeler

oil painting of a blue heeler, pet portrait
This is a lovely Blue Heeler - a breed from Australia originally, which was created by breeding herding dogs with domesticated dingoes. 
It was painted in two passes. I put the background in with straight, black acrylic paint and also used splurges of black acrylic to indicate the nose and edges of the ears. Once this was thoroughly dry,  I worked the eyes and the yellow ochre fur. 
He looked distinctly odd at this point, but I let the paint tack up for 3 or 4 hours whilst I started on a separate painting. Then the rest of him was completed using black, ultramarine and white. 
To achieve the 'speckled' effect, particularly on his muzzle, it is important to apply the lightest possible brush pressure. Any accidental mixing -  creating a very unconvincing sky-blue colour in the case of this dog - needs wiping off with cotton buds before re-applying.
I have learnt the hard way that when overlaying light fur on to dark fur, any over-zealousness with the brush cannot be corrected: the mistake must be wiped off and re-painted. 


  1. Thank you for your 'Blue Heeler' process notes. The finished painting looks really good. Was it was done with acrylics as the blog label mentions oils on linen board? Thanks again and best wishes.

    1. Hello Domhnall thanks for stopping by! I am sorry I wasn't as clear as I should have been: I did a black underpainting - almost a notan - using acrylic paint the night before. Then I painted in oils on top. I did this because the lighting was so dark I thought it would be easier to get the tonal values right if I blocked in with black.

  2. Many thanks. Can I ask you how you complete the initial drawing? Charcoal? Is the underpainting in raw umber? Kind regards and best wishes.