Two Dog Portraits, 2020

These are two dogs that I had already done for their owners but in different postures. They will be part of the upcoming International House Exhibit in March.

Tara Profile 8x8x3.4 oils 20200114
Tara’s Profile, 8 x 8 x 3/4 inches, oil on canvas
Gus 8x8x3.4 oils 20200114
Gus, 8 x 8 x 3/4 inches, oil on canvas

2019 Review

This has been an amazing year for pet portraits especially dog oil portraits. I have gotten commissions as far away as Dubai, Germany and Finland as well as local and around the US. It has been a pleasure to work such great clients. Most of the clients contacted me through my Etsy store, PaintingsbyMarlene.

Black Labrador Portrait

My goal this year is to do more portraits in graphite. After spending three years on Sadie Valeri online drawing/painting program, I finally finished up this year.  I wanted to apply the techniques and concepts that I had learned to this drawing.

This portrait of Tara, a black lab, took about six hours to do. I’ve worked from a photo that a client had provided (though I had used a different photo to complete a commission for this client).

In the photo there is lighting coming from the right side but reflective light all around. So there is a slight change from dark to light. Here I did a lot of squinting to simplify the dark and light shapes. Those shapes I identified as planes. So I worked on the concept of the value sphere – establishing the core shadow, getting lighter as the shape come to the light.

What I would like to do is to learn about animals head anatomy. It would help to understand the planes more.

Profile of Tara 2019
Tara 2019, graphite, 11 x 14

Oil Portraits Paintings

These paintings were done back in 2015 and 2016 when I was often attending the open sessions at Patris Studio. I have to say they are not as bad as I thought. But I do need to go back and painting portraits again. Maybe that would be one of my New Year’s resolution.

Square Dog Portraits

Chardonnay belongs to my neighbor’s granddaughter. Despite her busy life as a nursing student and caring for her grandparents, she took the time to provided photos for me to paint. Thank you, Christiana.

Chardonnay, 8 x 8 x 3/4 inches oil on stretched canvas by Marlene Lee

I met Kirby and his owner on a walk with my dog, Kava. Kirby is a full blooded Maltese and is a one person dog.

Kirby 8 x 8 x 3/4 inches oil on wooden panel by Marlene Lee

These two paintings will be part of the International House Exhibit in March, 2020.


Pet Portraits in Oils

Oliver 150dpi 2019
Oliver, oil on stretched canvas, 9 x 12 x 3/4 inches by Marlene Lee
Tyler 150dpi 2019
Tyler at Rancho Yolo, oil on stretched canvas, 10 x 8 x 3/4 inches by Marlene Lee
Smoochie 150dpi 2019
Smoochie the Cat, oil on stretched canvas, 8 x 8 x 3/4 inches by Marlene Lee


Dogs Drawings

Preliminary pencil drawings for oil paintings.

Dog Pencil Portrait 100319
Oliver, pencil, 7 x 5 inches by Marlene Lee
Dog Pencil Portrait 102119
Kirby, pencil, 7 x 5 inches by Marlene Lee
Pencil Dog Portrait 100419
Tyler, pencil, 7 x 5 inches by Marlene Lee
Dog Pencil Portrait 100719
Jinga, pencil, 7 x 5 inches by Marlene Lee

Pet Portraits Commissions

I just completed two pet portraits commissions. Very fun to do.

Chloe_Lynn 150_dpi 2019
Chloe, 8 x 10 x 3/4 inches, oil on stretched canvas 

Chloe was a bit of challenge to do especially with the amazing amount of fur. Besides her fur I wanted to capture her sparkling brown eyes and her cute little mouth to reflect her perky personality.

Gus, 4 x 4 inches on canvas panel

The commission for Gus came through Etsy. It’s one of the tiny paintings of only 4 x 4 inches. It was a challenge but a learning experience on painting tiny. I started off with bristle brushes by Robert Simmons, my favorite. But when it came to the details, I found another Robert Simmons brand, Simply Simmons. The brushes are softer but were great for details. I used mainly the filberts.


Interested in a pet portrait commissions?Visit my Etsy store for more info. If for a Christmas the deadline would have to be the end of October. Too many projects in November.

International Festival 2019

This year as in the past years I have set up a booth at the International Festival to sketch portraits for free. The festival is organized by the International House and features performances, cultural booths and vendors on the first Sunday of the October.

In the past I had only one or two artists. This year there were six artists. Thank you to Scott Shepherd, Tom Corbett, Lynn at Lynn_CoMo, Duke at Dukekm, and Dawn at PaintedbyDawn . And myself at MarleneLeeArt

Check out these artists on their Instagram.

Parade of the Flags


Artists at Work

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My portraits

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