How to Paint a Mouse! Dog Portraits with Robert Lucy

Class Includes Lifetime Access, Online Community, 6 Video Lessons & More!

$72.25 $85.00

Robert Lucy is an accomplished painter who, by accident, discovered something powerful and deep in the process of painting pets. This is a class about finding that connection and is meant for anyone… especially if you have never even considered painting a dog! Robert is a joy to be with and has great techniques for building a complete painting.

TEACHER: Robert Lucy

Product Description

How to Paint a Mouse!
Dog Portraits with Robert Lucy

6 Lessons
Now available as a self-study class.

I never set out to be a painter of dog portraits, but in painting this subject matter, I’ve discovered something profound. In this class I will share my technique for building a dog portrait layer by layer, and capturing the pure love we experience with our pets.

We’ll start by discussing how to choose the best photo for your painting and how to crop it for best impact. I will then show you how I use a grid to carefully draw the image on the canvas, and then guide you to slowly build your surface, starting with a very thin wash drawing to ultimately using thicker and thicker paint with more and more detail. We will also discuss how to create the best possible background to compliment your portrait.

For my demonstration, I’ll be painting a portrait of “Mouse,” Steve and Carla’s 2-year-old Aussiedoodle, but you’ll be painting the dog (or pet!) of your choice. Before class begins, you’ll receive a short video on how to choose and crop the optimum source photo so you will be ready to paint in Lesson 1.

I hope you will join me!

Bobby Lucy

Class Itinerary

Class videos are pre-recorded and available instantly upon signup.

Lesson 1
Using a very simple grid technique we’ll make an accurate, proportioned drawing of the source photo onto your canvas.

Lesson 2
We will discuss paint mixing and the advantage of pre-mixing a general color palette before starting to paint. We will then create the foundation of our portraits by painting a very thin first layer of our image.

Lesson 3
I will discuss my approach to choosing a background for a dog portrait and lead you in an exercise to help you discover the optimum background to compliment the dog you have chosen to paint.

Lesson 4
We will begin applying a second layer of slightly thicker paint. For those using oil, this is where we would begin to add medium to our paint. We’ll discuss the advantage of going from thin to thick and general to specific.

Lesson 5
In this lesson I will focus on a small area of the portrait to show how to create more detail and presence.

Lesson 6
In our final lesson we will bring the whole portrait to that same level of finish and detail, creating vivid portraits that jump off the canvas!

Note: In this class Bobby will be painting with oils, but you can substitute acrylic paints if desired; the principles of paint are the same.

Yes! You can paint a cat if you wish, or a horse or a guinea pig or…!!



I have been painting and drawing professionally for my whole life since graduating with a BFA and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1990. While still in school I discovered that I connected most to my work when I was working from observation. I started by painting my bagel and cream cheese sitting on my studio stool, then I started making more elaborate still life set ups, painting many self-portraits, and live models. From 1989-1999 I had the opportunity to spend my entire summers painting landscapes on the Oregon Coast.

All of this experience of looking and translating what I see to canvas has helped me to develop a expressive way of painting from a photo source which has been helpful in approaching subjects that are difficult to paint from life, like dogs.

Over the past 10 years or so I have painted 150 or so animal portraits, mostly of Dogs. I try to bring a sense of vitality and joy to these portraits, using mostly graphic, colorful backgrounds using detailed specificity to capture the special individuality of each animal.


@robertlucyartist and @robert_lucy_commissions

Supply List

Note: These are the supplies that Bobby is suggesting, but you can substitute with materials you already have on hand.

• Range of Oil or Acrylic paints

Turpentine or Water

Medium Note: If using acrylics, you might want an “open” medium to extend the drying time.

• Brushes (like these or these)

• round #4

Palette Knife

Canvas 12”x12”

Nuts & Bolts

– Lessons are prerecorded and instantly available upon signup.

– A private Facebook group and a Padlet group (for those not on FB) will be available for you to (optionally) share your artwork and enjoy and learn from the artwork of others. You may also email your teacher directly with questions or feedback.

– You will have indefinite access to this class.