Monday, March 8, 2010


This is my best friend, Sampson. We got him from the pound almost 9 years ago when he was 10 months old. This doesn't do him justice. He's not really this scruffy looking but I was having so much fun with his fur I got carried away with the texture. I think I gave him Terrier fur. Also, he's only got grey on his muzzle, toes and in his ears. I used a blue to give the highlights on the black but in this photo it reads more as grey fur. I'll fix that later. There are a couple of other things that don't look quite right so I'll look at it for a week or so and figure out where to take it.
Sampson is a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix. We refer to him as our Shepweiler muttagree so that he doesn't have self-esteem issues. :-) Two breed mixes are the in thing right now so even though a Shepweiler isn't one of the recognized designer mixes, I don't think there could be a better mix. He is super smart, mellow, not an alpha dog, and he looks and sounds scary even though he is very sweet and would never hurt anyone. (Lizards and rabbits being the exception.) Actually, I think mutts from the pound make the BEST pets. I can't imagine finding a better dog than Sam anywhere.
I have been wanting to try painting his portrait for a long time. I even started one about a year ago using acrylic but I left the studio door open one day and a bird got in and pooped on it. It's not ruined but I guess I saw that as a sign that maybe it wasn't a successful painting. Everyone's a critic!

It took awhile to get a reference picture of Sam. Every time I pointed the camera at him he looked this way,
then that way. He refused to look at the camera.
I swear he was doing it on purpose. He's either extremely camera shy or just getting cantankerous in his old age. Anyway, after two days, he finally gave up and I got the picture I wanted.
This painting is done in pastels and I probably will try to do another one in acrylic or oil in the future.

Image Size 13" x 18"


  1. Oh Nancy, I so loved this post! Your bird poop and everyone's a critic comment had me giggling. Well, that and Sampson's obstinacy in getting his picture taken...I don't think you gave him terrier fur. I thought that he does indeed look like a shepherd. Gorgeous guy and please tell him I said so!

  2. Beautiful painting, Nancy, and what a funny dog, your Sampson!

  3. Thank you Sherry and Sylviane. He is quite a character.

  4. Your Sampson's painting just made me go "awwwww" - he's a cutie. I love dogs, and you have depicted a perfect personality for him. I understand how he's your best friend, my guy "puppy" is my best buddy. I will have to attempt a painting of him one day.

  5. Nancy, I've been so deep in paint, I'm slow getting here! I love this post and Sampson is absolutely adorable! Your painting is right on for his mood and personality at the moment! I can think of no better mix - I love both breeds. We adopted a five year old long-hair German Shepherd from the shelter last year after having lost two male standard GSDs to old age. She is so amazing - Our first little (90 lbs) girl and it's a match made in Heaven. I agree that "pound mutts" are the best pets!

    You did a great job with the painting and have inspired me to paint Jade!

  6. Nancie and Rosemary, I thank you and Sam thanks you. I can't wait to see your little furry friends immortalized.


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