Every year, I paint a new portrait of each of our dogs for our Christmas Card. They take turns being on the front. It becomes a bit of a challenge to find something new to do to/with them in their portraits. Just painting their profiles gets a bit boring after a while. I recently did some paintings using a composite of pet photos and other items. It was something new for me and I quite liked it. I decided I would try painting dog portraits in Steampunk.
Now, I am a very visual artist. I need to see what I’m painting. I don’t truly have the ability to look at something and painting it from a different angle – I wish I did. I also can’t paint something just out of my head. The challenge with the steampunk paintings was to find photos of each dog, and then, find photos of steampunk costume pieces in the same orientation. My first attempt with Murphy just didn’t work. He was looking in a different direction than his hat was pointing.
The first one I finished was of our first basset hound, Sophie. She’s been gone a very long time, but I remembered the perfect photo of her. She was lounging on our love seat with her elbow on the arm and a fabulous, “What are you looking at?” expression on her face. I put a purple hat with googles on her head and an octopus cameo around her neck. It’s awesome, if I do say so myself. I’ve since completed paintings of our three current kids – old English sheepdog Murphy, basset hound Hazel and dachshund Bernadette. I even did one of a gray tabby cat. They make really awesome brooches, too.