Painting Dogs in Watercolour – Great Dane Tutorial

Original Watercolour Great Dane - 9x11 inches

Original Watercolour Great Dane – 9×11 inches

Just recently I was asked to paint a Great Dane. I love dogs but find capturing a likeness in watercolour very hard.

Anyway I did the drawing and set about painting this gorgeous dog.

I used several washes , allowing each one to dry before I added the next in order to build the form of the face.

This Great Dane has lovely interesting black spots and patches but I only added them as soft blurs in the early stages and made harder edges at the end. That way I developed a depth to the painting.

Painting dogs makes you really study the shadows and markings and I used complementary colours on the colour wheel in order to create shadows that would turn the 2D images into a 3D watercolour.

If you’d like to try this watercolour dog tutorial then please do.

COPYRIGHT! – please note that while this watercolour tutorial can be used for your own learning you do not then have the right to sell this image as the copyright is mine. Thank you.

This tutorial is offered for purely educational purposes.

I used the following materials:-

1 Arches hot pressed 90lb 100% cotton rag paper – stretched on a quarter inch plywood board
2 Winsor & Newton artists’ quality tube watercolours in Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber and Rose Madder Genuine

Please click on each image to bring it up nice and big!

Graet Dane 1

Graet Dane 2_edited-1

To see my available watercolour dog paintings and prints please visit my online gallery here –

Happy painting

Knock on Wood – original woodpecker painting

Original Watercolour Woodpecker painting 8x10 inches "Wise Woody

Original Watercolour Woodpecker painting 8×10 inches “Wise Woody

I loved painting this original woodpecker in watercolour!

He has fabulous feathers and colourings and his pose was so paintable.

I used Arches hot pressed 100% cotton rag paper and took it slowly; building washes one at a time. He was overlaid about 3 times and I only added the final details and accents right at the end.

Woodpeckers are such dapper birds!

For the bird lover this original painting would be a lovely gift or addition to your gallery at home.


I can paint any animal for you!

I can paint any animal you wish so please email me at

For a random animal (not a portrait with a pet’s likeness) I charge $75 plus shipping and for actual pet portraits with a true likeness my rate is $115 plus shipping.


To visit my online art gallery click here –

Thanks for looking – Alison

Original Watercolours for Sale

Prefer the real thing to a print? Then I have another original watercolour for you today!

Here is another of my original watercolours. They are all watercolours and one of a kind.

Next up is this colourful and vibrant watercolour crab – a fun accent piece for the nautical bathroom perhaps?

Treat yourself to an original piece of art for your home:)

Original Watercolour Crab - 7x10 inches

Original Watercolour Crab – 7×10 inches

Original Watercolours for Sale

Here are a few of my original unframed paintings for sale. They are all watercolours and one of a kind.


Treat yourself to an original piece of art for your home:)

This bright ladybird would be fab for a child’s nursery and she is called “Scarlet Showgirl”

Original Watercolour Ladybird - 7x10 inches

Original Watercolour Ladybird – 7×10 inches


Italian Greyhound Art Demo

A beautiful Italian Greyhound called Cairo just stopped me in my tracks – (see earlier post) and below is how I proceeded to paint him.His mother Niki (of ShadedMoon on Etsy)  and I are working together on producing several Italian Greyhound portraits in the original and print forms with a percentage of the prints ones going to Niki’s UK charity the Italian Greyhound Rescue

Here is my drawing
First wash of mid Raw Sienna was very liquid – I left parts white for the ears inside and the white blaze on chest
Darkening dark areas with Burnt Umber/Burnt Sienna and a touch of French Ultramarine whilst still wet.
Paint over the whole lot with a wash of mid brown and let it all fuse
When almost dry go in with darks for the nose, the eyeballs and the back of that graceful curved neck. Don’t worry about runs.
When almost dry I used a clean damp wiped brush to carefully lift out colour around the nose to form it
Felt that Cairo needed a little hot cold counterchange to avoid boredom of being all browns. I added a hot splash of Cadmium Scarlet wash to the side of his aristocratic muzzle and above his right eyebrow and a dab on his right shoulder haunch. Then I added a whisper of Winsor Violet to the top of his nose and right ear to suggest sky reflection. I also pinked up the inner part of his right ear where the skin inside is that colour.
Add caption

I loved painting this dog although I had a few near misses with him and he turned out much darker than he is in reality. Still – I am gearing up to paint one of his brothers and sisters next.

Come over and see him and other dog originals in my Etsy shop or how about a commission of you rown dog ? Thanks for reading. Alison

Top 5 New Watercolour Materials and Equipment to acquire!

Tis the season to go spending and whilst I have a limited amount with which to splurge there are 5 items that have been spiralling around in my artist’s head to acquire for many months now!

1) Some Maimeriblu watercolours. I have been using the fabulous Winsor & Newton almost exclusively now for over a year and want somethingh fresh! Some new bold Hue! And I think I have found it in these 3 colours by Maimeriblu.

Mouth-watering colours from Maimeriblu!

2) An Isabey mop brush in a size I don’t already have yet – possibly a “00”

Exquisite brushes that hold a tonne of water and pigment yet hold the finest sharpest point ever!

3) Some St Cuthbert’s Mill paper – always a delight to work on. I feel like royalty when I use this paper!

Yummy, rich, textured paper to die for! The watercolourist’s dream

4) I just cannot get this little watercolour field box out of my head. It would be a real splurge as it is expensive and I would hardly ever use it as I rarely paint outdoors – BUT – it is so dinky!

Winsor & Newton watercolour field box

5) …and finally I would love to get some serious studio lighting to allow me to paint late into the night!

Are you a painter?

If so – what top 5 things would you splurge on right now?

Comments below please!

Black Friday to Cyber Monday FREE shipping on all animal art prints from !


Save a tonne on shipping this weekend!

I am offering FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING – order now in time for Xmas:)

Get the perfect gift for the animal lover in your life!

Pick from a huge range of adorable animal art prints:)

For the bird-lover choose from a gorgeous collection of prints - all under £15!

For the bird-lover choose from a gorgeous collection of prints – all under £15!

Select from collections including NAUTICAL - for the beach lover

Select from collections including NAUTICAL – for the beach lover

Also check out my animal lover idea boards on PINTEREST below

bunnyc cat dog hedge