Over the past few months, I have been exploring the mixed media oil portraits with a more expressive oil brush style. The looser brushwork works perfectly with pet portraits!
Inspired by two of my favorite living portrait painters, Everett Raymond Kinstler and John Howard Sanden, I have been developing a more impressionistic style of work.
This portrait of Mabel is the newest portrait, which incorporates some photo realistic elements, combined with far more expressive brush strokes, to achieve a more expressive portrait.
Meet Mabel, the Wheaton Terrier
Mabel is a young Wheaton Terrier, still in her puppy coat of fur. Before the colors of her coat change and lighten as she becomes full grown, it was important to capture her in portrait! The wispy streaks of dark brown and amber will eventually fade as she gets more blonde and almost white in color.
Working with Oils
Mabel’s portrait began in the studio with a series of photographs, to capture her sweet nature and personality. Once the best image is selected to use as her portrait, the process unfolds over the next several weeks to create the finished painted portrait.
The photographic portrait then becomes the source material for the finished painting. Using a combination of electronic brushwork and the real oils, the mixed media portrait evolves into a work of art.
Here is the palette of oils I used while working on the oil painting.
While applying the oils to her painting, I often use a series of brushes, with the stiff bristled brushes to create a scratchy textural surface, and the softer bristled brushes for the fine details.
Watch behind the scenes of the making of this painting.
Do you have a beloved pet in your life? Consider having a special painted portrait created of your fur baby. Please contact the studio if you are interesting to learn more about how I can create a custom painting for you.
Bobbie Bush is a Massachusetts based portrait artist, with her studio located north of Boston in historic Salem, MA, specializing in children, family and pet portraits. Voted Best of Boston in 2017 by the Boston A-List. To learn more about her painted artwork and commissioned painted portraits, visit https://bostonportraitartist.com, or call 978-744-6918.