Sunday, July 31, 2011


Watching every move
Acrylic on wood         Size 32X24

Recently I've been enjoying myself painting different subjects. This is a great example of one - a Jack Russell terrier!  Painting a dog is a great departure from my usual subject matter and I found it great fun to to paint. You see to me clearly there's a lot of similarities to painting traditional portraiture, and one thing I always strive for with my 'people' portraits is not only a likeness, but also an importance of paint and the painting itself. In other words it's not enough to simply capture the person, but the painting should have a creative power or perhaps style of it's own.

When working on a 'person' portrait I find this balance between painting and likeness to be a  dangerous and challengeing line to walk. However when approaching this dog portrait I found the battle easier, I was able to push colors and composition with greater ease, creating an effective and dramatic painting. (Perhaps the reason for this was a more obedient 'sitter')

A very early inspiration for me was to keep the color fairly monochromatic, with strong reds and a tonally contrasting dog - with very dark head tones.

 (in progress detail of rug)

As you'll see here, I originally planned to paint the rug with greater complexity in it's patterning. I tried at great length to make this work, with numerous iterations of detail and colors; until I ultimately realized to make the whole painting work I needed to step away from the design aspects and focus on the compositional and tonal impact. I did however keep the circular shapes from table to rug that leads 'the eye' through the top of the painting, down to the dog focal point.


  1. Its good to see this new aspect in your work. I like this .

  2. I enjoy all your work Angus but this is one of may faves - love the colours and the repeated circles.