A Pair of Pet Portraits

Sometimes I get commissioned to do multiple paintings at one time with the intent that they will hang together. This brings a specific set of concerns to the planning process for the art. The size of the surface and the painting’s colors must harmonize and work well together. I generally find that two squares make a nice presentation as they did in this case.

I was asked to paint both Anna, a very small Yorkshire Terrier, and Miley, a chocolate Lab. Anna’s painting was to be a gift from husband to wife–with Miley planned to follow after. However it was ultimately decided to work the two together which from my viewpoint is optimal–as I can make sure they will balance well from the start.

Doing two separate paintings also worked better than a single one because the dogs were so different. The client wanted to paint Miley as a puppy, while Anna was a smaller and much older dog. Generally when painting multiple dogs in a single painting, the more similar in size they are, the better the painting will work (as in my previous Three Havanese Amigos).

Each painting was a 12″ square panel. I used a similar background on each of lush green plants and coral pink flowers to unify and bring them together. In the actual photos, one was an interior and the other shot on grass.