How to Paint a Dog's Portrait. So you want to immortalize your beloved pooch in art? While a sonnet or song written to Spot are nice ways to express your love, no medium will capture your canine's inner essence like a good portrait. Follow a few steps to put your dog's likeness onto the canvas so you can enjoy it forever.
Pay a professional. The simplest and easiest way to paint a portrait of your dog is to pay someone else to do it. Services like Pet Portraits by Lorri will give you a lifelike and expressive portrait of your dog that any pet lover would be proud to hang over the mantelpiece.
If you want to stay more connected to the process, you can paint the portrait yourself. Begin by taking a portrait photo of your dog. Put the pooch into an expressive, elegant or dignified position and snap a good shot. The photo is only a basis for the rest of the process, so it doesn't have to be perfect.
Digitally alter the photo. If the photograph wasn't taken digitally, you can scan it. Then, import the digital image into a photo-altering software. Enhance the contrast of the photo so you primarily see the contrasting lines between different colors. Print the photo when you are done.
Trace the photo. Use a piece of tracing paper to trace the photo and then transfer it to your canvas. You can either paste the thin tracing paper onto the canvas or you can use a water-based paint to outline the traced lines and then stick them to your canvas to leave a "watermark."
Once you have your traced image on the canvas, you can begin to fill it in with paint. Start lightly since you can always add more. Choose your palette of colors and mix a number of different hues to match the subtle coloring of your dog's coat. Work from the original photo you took to accurately incorporate shading and lighting.