Painting a dog’s nose

Custom Pet Portraits - doggy noses

There is a lot to a dog’s nose

If I had to draw a dog’s nose from memory (well, before I studied a few hundred of them), I would imagine it to be a pretty straight forward task.

A booper, wet, greyish, black… maybe pink with two nostrils. Definitely bigger than a house cat’s nose. Easy peasy right?? One week into my pet portrait artist adventure I quickly learned no two dog noses are the same. Even the same breed has slight variances in shape and color. This is the reason I ask for a good photo of people’s beloved fur-babies. Every variance in color, shape, spots, scars, freckles and size helps me capture the personality and uniqueness of each individual animal.

Why I use so much color

  1. I think painting undertones make noses look more interesting.
  2. If you have a fur-baby close by look at that  adorable booper. See? There are lots of colors if you look hard enough. Probably take the good boy or girl for a walk now because they will wonder why you are staring at them.

Sometimes I use nail polish

There are lots of ways to insinuate shine on a dog’s nose. Light and shadow play an important role. Sometimes I just drop a little clear top coat nail polish where I want the shine to be and VIOLA! A healthy wet looking nose with minimal effort. I have done this on acrylic and watercolor portraits.

I am a big fan of getting it right

When in doubt, study the anatomy. I look back on my sketches from my mind when I was just starting out and man… I used to draw what I thought I knew. The reality of the anatomy of a dog’s nose is way more complicated than I realized early on in my career as an artist. I recommend sketching from photos as it’s really hard to get a dog to sit still for a 20 minute sketch sesh.

I’d love to see your dog noses! Message me over on Instagram or Facebook and share those glorious wet fur-baby noses.

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