My longtime friend, Richie, commissioned me to work on a stylized portrait of his beautiful French bulldog Oreo. Oreo was diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago, and despite rather bleak predictions he’s still with us (thanks to some great doctors and Richie’s bank account). I love animals and have dealt with my fair share of sick pets in the past so this project seriously hits me in the feels. And so, with out further dejection lets move on to the fun stuff! 😊
The portrait is based off a Pop! French Bulldog by Funko shown below. Painting vinyl figures are always a fun change of pace from my usual tabletop miniatures. Their usually simple design and large smooth areas are great for stylized paint jobs and freehand.
The first step was to clean and prime the figure. You can’t really see it in these photos but there were a few air bubbles in the vinyl that I had to cut out and patch up using some putty. Also the original factory paint had a visible raised edge to it so I smoothed those down with some sandpaper. Nice, clean and ready for some freehand!
Using the original paintjob as a guide, I started planning out Oreo’s unique facial markings. The transition from black to white on the muzzle was tricky but I think the feathering technique I used worked out pretty well as you will see in the final. I also accented the wrinkles in his face.
I knew that I was going to use cool, blue-gray tones for highlighting the black areas so I thought using warm ivory tones for the white shadows would contrast nicely. Then I added flesh tones to the inside of the ears again using a feathering technique for the blending.
Here we have the final result. As you can see it’s come a long way since the previous photos. I was in the zone so didn’t stop for more work-in-progress shots. Basically, I added the blue-gray highlights to the black and painted his eyes along with the rest of his body. After analyzing my references I also decided to narrow the white space between the ears and eyes and add more black to the inside of the ears and front of the mouth. Adorable!
Once the painting was done I sprayed the model with matte sealer, then went back with gloss varnish and coated the eyes and nose for a wet look. And of course, I signed his little hind paw. 😊
So there you have it folks! A fun paint project for anyone to take on. I’d like to thanks Richie for entrusting me to paint his best buddy and look forward to painting more of these in the future. Particularly for my Boston Terrier, River.
Have any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments below. If you’d like me to paint a commission vinyl dog for you then message me through this blog as well.
Until next time, keep painting and hug your pets today. 🐶