This is Ruby. Isn’t she beautiful? Those eyes just show a beautiful gentle soul. Sadly I never got to meet Ruby as I was asked to paint her portrait after she recently passed over the rainbow bridge. Her owner, Rowan misses her dearly and really wanted something special to remember her by. Thanks Rowan for the invitation. Painting Ruby’s portrait was a true delight. I hope the painting brings you many years of happy Ruby memories.
Ruby was a Rhodesian Ridgeback who lived to the grand age of 12 years. That is a good life span for a large dog. She was quite the silver-muzzled lady in her latter years.
The photo Rowan liked the best was the one above. Because it is so delicious in detail and the composition was sound, I didn’t need any other references. Rowan had already chosen the perfect spot for Ruby’s portrait on the wall in her office so we just played with the cropping tool on her computer and chose a background colour which suited the room and Ruby’s gentle nature.
Time to paint.
Rowan opted for a decent sized canvas – 51 x 51cm (20×20″) This is a fun size to paint a close up portrait because I can really have fun putting in lots of detail. Fortunately the reference photo had plenty, so it was very enjoyable.
I drew up the design on my pre-painted canvas and blocked in the basic values, added the colours layers and just kept adding thin layer on thin layer
The eyes came together beautifully, as though they really wanted to tell their story.
And after a few more teaks, Rubys portrait was born.
For something different, Rowan requested the paintings edges be painted the same colour as the background. I haven’t done this before. I’m usually one for clean white edges, but I like the effect on Ruby”s painting.