Pet portraits come in all colours.

Some pets call for soft pastel colours. Such was the case with Coco.

Other pets need strong colours.

For example, take Storm, a 100 lb. Chesapeake. You see, Storm was all macho dog.

Certainly, he could be sweet, greeting you at the door with wagging tail and a deep WOOF! But, now and then, he had his ornery moments too especially when interesting scents dictated that he follow his nose rather than his owners' calls.

Happiest outdoors, Storm loved chasing other dogs in the park. Without a doubt, his most joyful times were during hunting and camping trips with his human family.

Storm's acrylic portrait went through several transformations as I adjusted both colours and features over the weeks I worked on him.

I had originally intended on leaving the background in Payne's Grey, a a deep blue-black colour. However, I had difficulties with the spray nozzle when I varnished the painting, and was not satisfied with the splotchy results which meant some kind of do-over.

Taking a risk with pet portrait

Often my inner voice dares me to try a technique or medium I have never tried before.

This is a combination of what if?, what do I have to lose?, and it's only a painting, go ahead!  Yup, all those words were prodding me to try something new. Has this ever happened to you?

I took a bit of a risk and with an old credit card, I layered modelling paste over the ruined background.

Quite naturally, the paste "suggested" a barn board or wood type background -  suitable for Storm, who loved the outdoors.

Here is the thing about art: suggestions that cannot be explained magically appear on canvas. I suppose this is what other artists call intuitive painting...

Storm, a Chesapeake, acrylic on 20" x 20" canvas by Ottawa custom pet portrait artist, Louise Primeau.
Storm in glorious colour! 20 x 20 gallery wrapped canvas.  No need for a frame as the sides are painted to match the front of the painting (in this case, a deep blue). The sides are 1.5".


Beautiful Storm is missed...(2007-2019).


Storm, I hope you have found a juicy bone in your patch of to Mopsy and Chico.

Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. ~ John Grogan, Marley and Me.

Havanese and Chesapeake puppies
best buddies - Chico (Havanese) and Storm (Chesapeake) in 2007. Such cute puppies they were!


Please visit my Custom Pet Portrait page for more information about having a favourite pet of yours painted. I accept limited number of orders. At the moment, I have an opening for June.

In this post, I experimented with modelling paste in the background. Thankfully, it worked for me in Storm's portrait.

What are some successful risks you took in your art? Or what risk was a disaster? What lessons did you take away from the experiment?  I look forward to reading your answers below.

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