I did this commissioned portrait of Ned the Cairn Terrier last night. My dog is also named Ned so it helped me to love this Ned even more.
Sometimes I do a pet portrait and it comes together really quickly. Angus the golden retriever was one of those. Ned was equally hairy and expressive and his reference photo was perfect, but he was trickier for me. I spent about three hours on him. Every time I thought I was finished, I would snap a picture and then look at it with disappointment and go back and fix something else. I am not sure why some paintings give me more trouble than others. Painting pets on a steady basis has given me a lot of challenges and problem solving opportunities that really help refine my paintings skills when I am out in the field plein air painting. It's been very good for me.
I swear the best part of doing commissions as a part time job is getting emails with pictures of people's pets in them. I loved Ned's little raccoon face and his hairy tail. I basically have the cutest job in the world.