Portrait of a dog called Bessie

dog portrait in oil by Helen Davison

“Bessie (study)”, 8″ x 6″, oil on linen panel.

This has been a really fun little study in preparation for a commission to paint Bessie perhaps at a bigger scale… although as of yet I’m not sure which direction to take. In the meantime however, I’m immensely pleased with this picture which I think has some lovely energy and personality to it.

I spent quite a while experimenting with background colours and textures, wanting to end up with something striking and contemporary feeling. I think this toned down Veronese Green has worked quite well, and I really enjoyed using such a different colour to my usual palette.

My friend (and owner of Bessie), lent me a wonderful little book by Diana Thorne about drawing dogs. I intend to post more thoroughly on that when I have more time. It’s a book filled with gorgeous illustrations and wonderful quotes about drawing animals in particular, but also about drawing from life and much else besides. No time for that now though. I have two day old dirty brushes to go and clean and hopefully a couple of hours in front of the fire before bed and a fresh project tomorrow.