Beau - Standard Poodle Portrait

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"Beau" - 8" x 8"

This handsome, happy guy is Beau, a black standard poodle. My clients liked my photo with his mouth open, but they also liked another photo where his ears were windblown, so I combined the two - pulling the windblown parts of his ears from another photo.

With all his curly and wavy hair, this portrait in watercolor on Yupo was an interesting one to tackle. I knew I'd be able to figure out a way to render his texture, but didn't really have a plan until I jumped in and started. I also knew it would be impossible to get all that detail into this looser style of painting, so from the start, my plan was to "interpret" Beau's texture. I took a few photos of the process along the way.

I painted the background first, as I usually do with this type of portrait. With a damp brush, I cleaned up the edges of the dog and started to lift out tendrils of hair as well. The white area is the unpainted Yupo; the hard edges of green on the upper half are edges I haven't cleaned up yet.

A close-up of the tendrils on the ear.

I filled in the ears with paint, not worrying about any detail, I just wanted a base layer. You can see that on the right side. On the left side, I've started to add detail by lifting and dragging paint. I've also painted into the tendrils at the edge that I'd lifted out previously.

A detail of the previous photo.

A detail of the finished portrait.

Another detail of the finished portrait.


Gail H. Ragsdale September 3, 2010 at 8:11 AM  

LOVE it!! One day I will have to get brave and play around with Yupo.

Jennifer McLean September 4, 2010 at 2:30 AM  

You do such beautiful work! I also work in watercolor much of the time, although I'm new to painting.
I have a question about your ostrich eggs. I have a blank ostrich egg which was supposed to get the Ukranian egg treatment but I never got around to it. Now I'd like to draw on it but the Sakura Pigma micron pens I normally use for drawing just rub off. May I ask you, what pen or pens do you use to draw successfully on your eggs? Also, what do you spray on them after to protect the drawn surface? Thanks so much, I don't want my egg to be wasted, my mom has already claimed anything I do to it has HERS. hehehe. Gotta love moms. My email is or come on over to my blog at and leave me a comment back. I sure would appreciate your help!

sammybourke September 4, 2010 at 12:57 PM  

I like this Standard Poodle

Because he is laughing out loud. I think it's because he is happy.

And because you are very good at making these pictures.

From Sammy

PaintDog September 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

Thanks Gail, Jennifer, and of course, my curly friend Sammy ( :-)

PoozyBear September 8, 2010 at 12:40 PM  

Magnificent! This is one of your best yet. I have NO idea how you achieved the fur effect on his ears, but wow, great job!

- - - All art and images ©Ann Ranlett, unless otherwise credited. All rights reserved. - - -

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