Posted on 43 Comments

Painting Dogs (and their owners)

Dogs x 3The people of Britain love their dogs. It is no secret that I love animals. I come from a family of animal lovers. My younger brother has three cockerpoo type dogs, my sister has a Cocker Spaniel called Dolly one and myself and my husband have two gorgeous mutts.

Animals can do no wrong in my family. I suspect that my mother would prefer to see photos of friends’ dogs rather than photos of their grandchildren!

So its no surprise that I often choose dogs (and their owners) as subjects for my art. I also love painting dogs as commission portraits.

I am not always terribly good at making eye contact with people when I am talking with them but when I am out walking, I will often catch the eye of a dog and a glance will pass between us. Perhaps, I am imagining this.

Dogs are cool. They live in the moment and know how to fully enjoy themselves. They love being out and about and enjoy seeing that. There is no joy like the joy of dog running free in the park or in the woods.

I like to try and see the world from their point of view. This usually means a low view point. Little Jack Russells are a favourite of mine. They have a big personality.

I particularly like to capture the body language between the dogs and and their humans. I am intrigued by the bond that links them. Even if they are just a dog and a human, they are a pack. The human is not always, “top dog”!

Do you have a favourite dog painting?



Painting of an English Bulldog
Thirsty Work

Thirsty Work Oil on Linen Canvas 30×24 cm, unframed

Painting of two girls with pram and Jack Russell dog by Emma Cownie
Everything Changes


Painting of sausage dog and family
Just a Second

Click here to see more dog paintings for Sale



43 thoughts on “Painting Dogs (and their owners)

  1. Your paintings are wonderful Emma.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    1. Thank you for stopping by, David.

  2. They’re great, so heartwarming! I love the way you capture the light.

    1. Thank you for the wram words, Gabriela

    2. Thank you for the warm words, Gabriela

  3. What a great series. Really shows the close bond

    1. Thank you. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Had to chuckle at your comment about favorite Jack Russells. I have met several of them over the years and have yet to encounter one that did not excessively bark at me. Must be something about me that sets them off LOL!

  5. So enjoyed seeing these!

    1. Thank you for the comment.

  6. These are fabulous! We have a dog like the one looking out the window. The liveliness of these scenes is so wonderful, joyful.

    1. How lovely. Thank you for the positive words, Aletha.

  7. I love these Emma (and I am a cat person). The composition of the little girl and the woman on the bench are particularly engaging. Your light filled appro3really makes these sing.

    1. Thank for your comment. I’m a cat person too but you don’t see them out with their owners in quite the same way as dogs. My lovely cats are both black, which is nortoriously hard to paint, but that wont stop me having black cats. This is off the point somewhat but there’s a vet in the UK (in Bristol) who is offering to neuter black cats for free in a bid to find them homes!

  8. Love them all, but especially the one of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

    1. He’s an absolute cracker, isn’t he? It’s usually Pembroke Corgis in the parks in Brynmill and Singleton. Thanks for your comment, Hugh.

      1. We have two Cardigan Corgis. They love the beach, so living 5 mins from Swansea bay is very useful. 😀

      2. I’ll look out for you on the beach!!

  9. Amazing!! I just love your paintings.

    1. Thank you, Alex

  10. Really love these pics. As a dog owner I do tend to nitice others with their hounds…makes for great art. I love them.

    1. Thank you for taking time to comment – of course a lot of dog walkers recognise other people’s dogs rather than the people that walk them! Are you like that? I am!

      1. absolutely I am….

  11. The last painting reminds me of my dog. It looks like a Jack Russel! Great paintings, Emma!

    1. I love Jack Russells, they are so full of character.

  12. You really are talented. Love your style!!

    1. Thank you, you are very kind.

  13. great paintings Emma, I love them all. I also have a black cat and have not been able to paint him at all, all those nuances of black…

    1. Indeed. The reason why I paint other people’s dogs so often is that mine are both black (and my two cats) and this difficult to paint!!

  14. Ah.. but the dogs own the owners.

    1. Well, of course they do! Just don’t tell the owners.

  15. The paintings are adorable. Like you said Dogs are really cool.

    1. Thank you!

  16. Schitterende hondenportretten

    1. Bedankt, ik ben dol op honden.

    2. Thank you, Marylou

  17. As you know Emma all dogs came from wolves.Through thousands of years we have domesticated their wildness into barks,licks & tail wags.Each is a unique as a snowflake.
    Your eye sees their unique personalities.
    Have you ever considered painting a bear?

    1. Indeed all dogs are unique. I usually only paint creatures that are native to the British Isles (therefore no tigers and elephants, as much as I love them), but I have a bear painting on my list of paintings I want to do, after a couple of commissions, a lot of tiny bird paintings and quite a few of Donegal, Ireland.

  18. Your love of dogs shines through. <3 I also prefer to watch dog and communicate with them over humans. After moving to southern Tuscany 5 years ago and getting our bestia, I was disappointed to learn that all the area around me is the nature reserve and my dog must not run anywhere! I was told to leave the fields in the area often enough so that I don't try it any more. Instead he runs on the beach – where there is a hefty penalty if we are caught as well. So I only let him free if there is nobody around, which out of season is the norm. There are some dog parks in the area but they are little and he is not very good with other males. As for favourite dog paintings, I showed you mine yet and you posted it in a previous post with pet paintings, remember? 🙂

    1. Was it the one of the little girl and the jack russell? It doesn’t sound like much fun for you and your bestia in Italy. There are beaches here where dog are banned in the summer months…people sneak onto them with their dogs in the evening, anyway. I am not familiar with the idea of a “dog park” – is like a playground for dogs?

      1. Yes, it’s a little (or sometimes quite big) fenced off area with water bowls, bushes etc.

        The painting was this one, let me find it:

        Here in Italy everything is private and restricted area. :p Based on my socialist upbringing in ex Yugoslavia where we could run everywhere we wanted, capitalism sucks. 😀

      2. Ah, yes. It’s a lovely painting. There’s real affection for the dog there. Wyeth’s beautiful painter.

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