Mika, a Formosan Mountain Dog portrait in oil paint on linen panel,, 10x8 in

Mika, a Formosan Mountain Dog portrait in oil paint on linen panel,, 10×8 in

This little cutie was a fun challenge to paint. Below are some steps along the way, including the reference photos that I joined and edited in Photoshop to simplify the background and combine the tops and bottoms of her ears. Her ears were too tall in my first sketch (done in gouache in my journal). I must have added extra length when I assembled the two photos in Photoshop so edited them down to life-size in the painting.

Mika’s owner was happy with the painting and noted that Mika, who is a playful goofball in real life, seems so dignified in the painting. That gave me the idea to ask owners to also provide videos of dogs I’m to paint in the future so I can get a better sense of their personalities. I tried to include some of the family’s garden in Mika’s portrait but I struggled with getting the spring flowers to behave in the background. I painted over them with sky, planning to try them again, but when I sent Mika’s owner a photo of the painting with the sky background, she liked it better that way and so did I.

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Category:
Animals, Oil Painting, Painting, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 15 Comments

  1. Jana, what gorgeous work and what a beautiful dog.
    Blows my mind, both you and the dog.

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    • Thank you Annie! You are so kind. I wish I could meet Mika in person. From the photos I’ve seen of her with her family she is as fun and sweet as she is beautiful!

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  2. PRECIOUS!!! So beautiful and beautifully expressed!!!

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  3. love it love it love it

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  4. What a fine strong sensitive face.

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  5. Really really nice likeness Jana – wow, the eyes are perfect! Very very good.

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  6. Very nice and I love that you left the back ground blue it high lights him very well…lovely and well done.

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  7. Incredible dog portrait! Wonderful sensitivity and beautiful technicals.

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