Painting a King Charles Spaniel: Step-by-Step

Once again, I am walking you through my step-by-step process creating a custom oil painting of Bailey, a six-year-old King Charles Spaniel.

I believe that the painting will be as beautiful as the subject matter, and, as you can see in her photo, she’s a beauty. I am posting pictures from start to finish so that you can get a sense of the process and the result.


This is Bailey’s photo which I used to create her custom oil painting. I am posting pictures from start to finish so that you can get a sense of the process and the result.

Initial Drawing

In my initial drawing, I drew Bailey and a part of the chair she was sitting on. This charcoal design will be the basis of the final painting. I thought that Bailey looked very regal sitting on the chair, befitting her breed.


Here, I have painted what I call a wash. This is a process of putting a very thin coat of oil paint on the canvas. The wash shows me the lights and the darks I will use for contrast. I have decided with this composition that I will paint Bailey on a canvas that is 20 x 20. The square will be good for this pose of Bailey.

Full Color Palette

At this point, I have begun to put in a full palette of color. If I have structured the painting properly, it should come together nicely in this step. The key is having it set up correctly as it is very hard to correct drawing errors at this stage.

I thought you might enjoy seeing a closeup of Bailey’s face at this point. You can see here that detail is missing. The next step will be one with the detail that is lacking here.

Detailed Closeups

These are closeups of the nearly final painting showing you the detail in Bailey’s face.

Nearly Final

This is the almost complete painting. There are just a few more details to add at this point, then Bailey’s portrait will be complete.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the progression of Bailey’s painting. The completed portrait is available in the Portfolio.

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