*I’ll* protect you from the falling food!

This is Russia. She is the apple of her Daddy’s eye – a 7-year-old border collie crossed with something we think might be a whippet. Her journey with us started off intensely (she almost died from a gut parasite) and she has been the high-energy glue that has bonded our little family.


It was Russia’s Daddy’s birthday recently and he’s not big on gifts, but I knew he wouldn’t be able to turn this one down…

Let’s do a step-by-step

The photo reference I used was shot under the dining room table, where Russia keeps us safe from all the falling food. It wasn’t well lit, but the contrast from the afternoon light in the background made for some good interest lighting.

Here in the first layers, you can see the blocked out colour and the progression: light in the background to shadow in the foreground.


In the next steps I got the flooring as complete as I could, then blocked out the mid-tones on Russia’s fur and hoped for the best.


And then PLENTY more blending than I intended, but it came out well and Russia’s Daddy was very pleased with his gift.


Russia portrait

I really love painting animals, especially when the people who belong to them get to look up and appreciate their loving faces every day.


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