The Eyes Of A Dog

Dog Pet Portait Black Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Eyes” today, I chose a dog’s eyes as they always melt my heart. This isn’t my dog, as I’ve already painted him countless times and need to practice other varieties. And, I have to admit to loving every single variety in existence when it comes to dogs. They are truly one of my favorite animals. I’ve always had a dog throughout my life, with only a brief hiatus during college. For me, they are definitely a “best friend” and add so much joy and love to a family. The kind of love that comes in the most wonderful form. That elusive unconditional love that we often only dream about or read about in romance books. Even though our own dog, Phineas the basenji, is a bit more reserved in the way he expresses emotions, his love is clearly apparent. Sure, he’ll sneeze to express his disapproval of something much of the time, but when it’s time to a cuddle, he’s not one to turn it down. Though, he does have a curious way of making it always seem like he’s doing us a favor in the process. This uniqueness is something that can be found in all animals, humans included. And, it’s the most wonderful thing in the world. After all, we ultimately love what’s truly unique about another living being. It’s how we know we’ve found something genuinely special.

Painting done by a dog basenji Phineas - Doodlewash

Abstract Painting By Phineas

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that Phineas tried watercolor painting for the first time, and many asked to see his masterpiece, so I’ve included it here. To be clear, this is the first painting of any kind he’s ever tried. Here’s a rundown of his process in his own words: First, my dad dissolves an entire watercolor cake from a non-toxic Crayola set of watercolors in a glass. Then it’s time for dad to wash my paw, as this is how I prefer to apply the paint due to an egregious lack of opposable thumbs making holding a brush cumbersome. Claws, however, provide a lovely bit of added detail. My paw is then dipped in the first color, and I walk, no, dance really, across the paper. My paw is then cleaned again and the second color is added. For this piece, I chose blues and yellow-oranges as my dad’s tell me they are complementary. I’ve no idea what that word actually means. These are truly the only two colors I can actually see. After the second color is applied, I get a treat, so this bit of nonsense is indeed something I recommend that everyone try, for the treat alone.

The actual event was comical and wonderful to watch at the same time. Phineas carefully walked across the paper in blue creating what now looks a bit like little blue butterflies. We were expected more obvious doglike paw prints, but watercolor isn’t quite that precise as we all know. He then got a little treat so the second color, was a bit impatient and well, totally chaotic as he rushed and scratched his way to the next treat. The end result was insanely wet and literally had to dry overnight so we didn’t know what it would actually look like until the morning. Actually, we were both a bit stunned. He only obliterated one of the blue “butterflies,” choosing to carefully avoid the areas that he already painted. This is quite similar to how he chooses to pee, so it really shouldn’t be all that surprising. Yet, he was unusually thrilled by the outcome. True, treats were involved as positive reinforcement, but he actually wagged his tail, something he rarely ever does. Such displays of emotion are apparently uncouth in his mind. In the end, he just got to be a part of the family and DO what he’s seen me doing each and every day. And he did it without overthinking things too much, teaching me to DO the same more often. I never really knew there was so much to learn by taking a moment to view the world through the eyes of dog.

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Dog Pet Portait Black Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

 

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
51 Comments
  1. Karen Fortier 2 months ago

    Fantastic dog eyes Charlie but I must admit your dog’s masterpiece is pretty special! 😍

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕Yeah, we were rather pleased with Phineas’ artistic talents!

  2. Sandra Strait 2 months ago

    It’s obvious that talent runs in your family – Phineas has definite style! Of course, I suspect that even above and beyond treats he enjoyed the experience because he was enjoying it with you and Philippe. What really impresses me though? He’s a Basenji and he let you get his feet wet! Unheard of for the breed!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sandra! 😃💕 You hit the nail on the head! A basenji would NEVER allow such nonsense, unless of course, they were a true artist at heart! hehe… so we were pretty amazed and happy!

  3. Bonnie Ottaviani 2 months ago

    I love both Phineas‘ abstract painting and your dog eyes. Great reminder to see things through a dog’s eyes, playful and relaxed. Great post.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Bonnie! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this post! Yeah, it was fun to see create with our dog, who very oddly, seemed to enjoy it as a human might! hehe

  4. Zertab Quaderi 2 months ago

    Phineas’ abstract painting is wonderful! Dogs are indeed a special blessing. There’s nothing in the world like a dog’s love.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Zertab! 😃💕 Dog’s are indeed the best! I just love them!

  5. Susan Feniak 2 months ago

    A loving dog. I can tell by the eyes.😉 Awesome Charlie. As you may have noticed dogs are a favorite subject of mine. It’s all about the eyes.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Susan! 😃💕 Yes! I know! And you paint them so well! Dogs are just the coolest creatures. I try to paint them anytime I can!

  6. Susan Feniak 2 months ago

    P.S. Way to go Phineas 💙

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe! Glad you liked his first painting! 😃💕I saw first as I’m rather sure it’s a way to get Philippe painting again, so we’re definitely going to try another one! 😉

      • Susan Feniak 2 months ago

        Looking forward to seeing another Phineas master piece. Philippe painting is a great way to relax and let the creative juices flow.

  7. Lisa 2 months ago

    Haha! Love the abstract! If Letterman was still on doing stupid pet tricks, he’d be a shoe in. Or paw in. My friend has a highland terrier named Fergus and in the winter she takes pictures of him in the snow then posts a find the Fergus game. Phineas and Fergus alone are proof that dogs are more fun than cats. Lol Cats are generally just plotting world domination instead of amusing their people.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Lisa! 😃💕 And Phineas thanks you as well! hehe… actually Phineas is a bit cat-like, so while he’s plotting world domination, he sometimes loses himself and becomes a bit dog-like once again. 😉

  8. Sharon Nolfi 2 months ago

    Phineas is a great artist! I loved learning about his artistic process.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Or I should say, Phineas thanks you! Yeah, he actually seemed to have a blast, so we’ll probably try it again.

  9. Walt. F Pierluissi 2 months ago

    Animals like humans do have a spirit, theirs are more simple in nature than ours, but they are capable of express feelings and even some basic intelligence trace. So they deserve our respect and care… The eyes are the window s of the spirit to this reality we called life. I do like your dogs eyes…. Have a wonderful rest of the week…

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Walt! 😃💕 So happy you enjoyed this! Yes, animals have such a wonderful spirit, and like humans, it’s all about the eyes.

  10. Walks in Watercolor 2 months ago

    Bravo Phineas! Your abstract painting warrants another treat.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      hehe! Phineas thanks you! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed his first painting!

  11. Mary Roff 2 months ago

    What a sweet looking dog and I love the colors you used. Sounds to me like Phineas enjoyed his art experience and should be encouraged to DO more 😍. Love his painting!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Yeah, Phineas totally loved it! It was crazy to watch as he’s sooooo reserved normally. But he really got into his art making so we’ll probably try it again soon!

  12. LoriCtoo 2 months ago

    Such a sweet little pup. He’s expression is wonderful As for Phineas’ work, it is a true work of art! You need to enter it into some fancy smancy art show. Then stand back and listen to people discuss it. That would be fun!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lori!😃💕 hehe… yeah, didn’t Phineas’ piece turn out cool? Proof also that just letting watercolor play and not overthinking things too much yields really lovely results. I’m not sure the fancy schmancy art shows would approve, however. But that’s why his dad took a different path! 😉

  13. Robert J. Coleman 2 months ago

    You’ve captured the loving deep look of the dog’s eyes, a stare right into one’s soul. Dogs can connect to your heart with sincerity, honesty and devotion thru those eyes. But they can connect also by painting! Great job, Phineas! And thanks for posting the link back to Philippe’s painting of few years ago, very expressive and loose in style. Congrat’s to Philippe!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Bob! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed my dog portrait. Glad you liked Phineas’ art as well… it was SO fun to do with him and he really loved it!

  14. Jacob 2 months ago

    Adorable! I’ve spent so much time watching cute dog videos lately; one of the inspirations for that Joker portrait was a clip of two bulldogs reacting to the trailer for the new film. It was hilarious! K’eyush the Stunt Dog is still my favourite YouTuber though 😛 Dogs are so cool.

    Now you’re a true doodlewash family! Do I see a dog in his painting? I can see eyes, an ear and a muzzle… wow!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Dogs are the coolest! 😃💕 And wow!! You are SO right… now that you mentioned it, it IS a self-portrait. I can’t unsee it now. I told Philippe and he initially made that French grunt where he was ready to disagree, but when I showed him it smaller on a mobile phone, he finally saw it as well… even drew the outline on his phone. It’s TOTALLY a self-portrait!! Phineas is BRILLIANT!

      • Jacob 2 months ago

        Aw, he certainly is! I remember back in the olden days when Philippe would feature some weekends – perhaps Phineas could have his own series!

        • Author
          Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

          Yeah, It’s been ages since I could get Philippe to paint, but I’m hoping with Phineas taking up the hobby he’ll be more inspired as well! 😉 hehe

  15. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 2 months ago

    Aweeeeeeeeeeee love your doggy such sweet eyes!!! And so elated that we get to see Phineas art. Love it!!!! Maybe you all will do art as a family again? 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed Phineas’ art! It was so much fun to make art as a family. We’ll definitely DO it again soon!

  16. Ellen 2 months ago

    Looking closely I definitely observe the “Face of Phineas”, a lovely self portrait in abstract! This dog has a future in art, mayhaps his own blog “Paw-Washes by Phineas”. Thank-you for sharing! P.S. Your doodlewash and commentary are smile inducing as always!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww thanks, Ellen! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoy these posts. And I know, right? It’s totally a self-portrait! Amazing! I love it even more now!

  17. Mireya 2 months ago

    Me too Toxy is my very best friend. She sees my beautiful worth.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Aww… hugs to you and Toxy! 😃💕 Dogs are the best!

      • Mireya 2 months ago

        Thanks…Oh my typos…her name is Roxy. Silly me.

  18. Loan Anh Pham 2 months ago

    Beautiful gentle eyes, they’ve made me melting. Phineas did a wonderful abstract painting. So happy for Phineas and Phineas’ Dad 🥰

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      Thanks so much, Loan! 😃💕Glad you enjoyed this. And thrilled you enjoyed Phineas’ painting… we were rather surprised. hehe… particularly after it was pointed out that it was a self-portrait!

  19. smzang 2 months ago

    I am caught in a quandary…can’t decide who to praise first:

    you…for the beautifully alive eyes of your painting
    or
    Phineas…for his imaginative and lively painting.

    So to each, simultaneously, I say: You Rock!!

    I really think you should buy him a beret.

    both paintings are exciting and evocative.
    I can only say, More More More!!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 months ago

      awww thanks, Sarah! 😃💕 hehe… you can totally praise Phineas alone… it’s what he prefers! lol So thrilled you liked these. It was so much fun to paint as a family. We’ll do it again soon!

      • smzang 2 months ago

        I’m looking forward to it!!

  20. goncalo.neves 2 months ago

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love dogs. This made me smile today. Thank you!

  21. pawsitivelykimmy 2 months ago

    I couldn’t agree more, my dog, and all dog eyes melt my heart. <3

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