This was our black Lab, Georgia. One warm day in early spring I caught her laying in the grass, lit up by the afternoon sun. I thought it would make a perfect painting for the mantle, something Kim and I can keep long after she's gone.
I painted some incredibly talented, award-winning English Pointers and an equally talented yellow Lab when I was in high school and college. But since those early attempts, I hadn't put brush to canvas on a single dog in over a decade.
The eyes, especially the eyebrows, are crucial when painting Labs. Their entire personality comes through in those expressive eyes, so I started the painting there and worked my way out. As a finishing touch, I positioned her tail in "mid-wag." This wasn't in my reference photo, but I wanted to paint her in a way that embodies her personality. I'm glad I did the painting, as Kim and I will always have something to remind us of "G."