The shadow side of Emma’s face is also made cooler, or bluer. Shadows are established before painting the sunlit portions of her head. A large Bright (square) brush is used to block the areas in, then I’ll come back with a smaller brush and indicate some individual hairs.


Ivory black is used for Emma’s lips. I guess that’s what you call the edges of a dog’s mouth! The solid black is painted first, then I’ll drag the hair on her muzzle over it. 


Mixtures of Ivory Black + Alizarin Crimson + White make her nose. 


Whiskers are so fun to do. A fine liner brush is used to pull them into the wet paint of her muzzle and lower jaw. Mixes of Alizarin Crimson + a touch of MUD (Ultramarine Blue + Alizarin Crimson) + White are perfect for Emma’s tongue.


Jack always said, “The eyes are the soul of a portrait.” He taught me his simple method for painting eyes. The entire area of the eye is blocked in with MUD. Then the iris is painted with a dark shade of brown made of MUD + Cadmium Orange. To see this better just enlarge the picture by clicking on the image.


Since light streams into the portrait from the upper right the iris is highlighted on the lower left at about 7 o’clock. White is added to the brown mixture for the lighter shade.


Using my fine liner brush a tiny White catch light is placed at 1 o’clock.

sk3616-emma-14x14Emma         14 inches x 14 inches

Blonde eyelashes accentuate Emma’s beautiful brown eyes and we’re done! I wonder what Emma is going to think when she sees this portrait of herself. I sure hope she approves! Hugs to all and Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas!

11 Responses to “EMMA”

  1. Ardythe Says:

    Really beautifully done ! The fur and eyes are magnificent ! Is the paint oil or acrylic ? What specific brush is used for the thin whiskers and fur ? Ardythe

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Thank you Ardythe, The portrait of Emma is done in oils. I’ve never been successful working with acrylics, they dry too fast and the colors don’t remain the same as you paint them. Acrylics get darker as they dry. I use a fine liner brush for the thin whiskers and tiny hairs on the fur. To learn more about my brushes CLICK HERE . Have a wonderful Christmas. Mikki

  2. Catherine Bast Says:

    Mikki you are just awesome. I love following your teachings. I send you Christmas Blessings and love – Cathy

  3. LouAnn Lubben Says:

    Hi Mikki, can I use ultramarine blue deep in place of the ultramarine blue to mix for mud? Thanks, love Emma!

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      LouAnn, I’ve never used Ultramarine Blue Deep in place of the Ultramarine Blue but I’m sure it will work fine. The MUD is just a deep purple that is used for the base of several mixtures. Play with it and see. HAPPY PAINTING and have a Wonderful Christmas. Mikki

  4. Adriann Says:

    Mikki, You did an unbelievable job on Emma! Thanks for sharing! Adriann

  5. Ed Mac Says:

    Really nice job on the dog. Seriously, very nice! Have a Merry Christmas,

  6. Tami Baron Says:

    Beautiful Mikki. Blessings to you. Merry Christmas. Hugs ~ Tami

  7. DailyGs Says:

    Gorgeous! I seldom comment but I do read every post and follow on Facebook. Thank you for allowing us to follow along with you on your painting journey. Merry Christmas, Mikki!

  8. Ray Dane Says:

    I love dogs. They are special creatures. Emma is beautiful. Looking at her just makes me want to reach out and hug her. Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift.

  9. Alice Cox Says:

    Mikki, what a delightful painting of a sweet, loving Golden Retriever. Emma’s owner must be thrilled with this portrait!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: