Painting First Place Winner Shiloh: Step-By-Step

This is the prize-winning photo submitted by Jill C., CEO of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, for our “More than a Pet, More than a Friend…Family” photo contest. The photo shows Shiloh entertaining some of the children at the House, something he does every day!


As I have said before, the photograph is key. I went over to the Ronald McDonald House to meet and photograph Shiloh, and I found out a lot about Shiloh in the process! Shiloh is a service dog, trained to serve as a guide dog for the blind. But his current job is “Chief Cheer Officer” at Ronald McDonald House in Dallas. And he does just that, spreading joy and cheer to the children and their families staying at the house.

Initial Drawing

A charcoal drawing is an important aspect of the painting. I must get the drawing right, for the painting, literally based on it, to really capture the personality of the subject. And Shiloh has an amazing personality. When I met him, he walked right over to where I was sitting and laid his head firmly on my arm. Jill told me that was his way of giving a hug! I see why he is “Chief Cheer Officer”.

Full Color Palette

As you can see in this photo of the painting in progress, I have put in the full palette of color. If my charcoal sketch was sound and I have structured the painting properly, it comes together nicely in this step and I think it has here. There’s a lot more to do – adding details like the texture of his coat, details of his face, the official title on his service dog vest, and so on, but I’m about a third of the way through the process.

Stay Tuned for the Completed Portrait!

I can’t wait to share the final portrait of Shiloh with you. As you can see from this photo, he really enjoys being around children, whether doing his job or relaxing at home. I am sure that his final portrait will showcase his great personality and capture the big heart under that golden fur!

Update: The Final Portrait

Be sure to check out my blog post about presenting the painting to Jill and Shiloh (and the wonderful kids at the Ronald McDonald House).

If you would like a chance to win a contest like Jill and Shiloh did, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Just click here or click on the graphic below! Once you sign up, you will receive my next newsletter. Also, if you are on Facebook, be sure to LIKE my Facebook page for more announcements about the contests and other fun things!

If you don’t want to wait for the next contest and you have a portrait that you want created just for you, just complete this form. If you have any questions, just contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

And a big THANK YOU for reading my blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *