dog silhouette art and an ode to my pups

I haven’t talked much about my dogs yet on this blog, which is surprising to me since I talk about them to basically everyone else in the universe.  I love them to bits and pieces, and we rarely go anywhere without them.  Thankfully the bay area is a very dog friendly place…in fact I heard somewhere that it is one of the most dog friendly areas in the country.  Dog parks, off leash beaches and dog friendly trails abound.

This is Strider, our five year old black lab.

He’s pretty much the handsomest, gentlest, most loving and awesomest dog in the known universe.

Maybe I’m a little biased in saying that, but so does everyone else who meets him.  I adopted him when he was four months old, and he’s been at my side ever since.

I joke with Devin that he fell in love with my dog before he fell in love with me.  (But it’s true.)

Who can blame him?

Last year we decided that Strider needed some company.  (Though if you ask him, Strider may or may not disagree with that fact.)

So that’s when we brought home Echo, our now one year old chocolate lab.  This was the day we brought her home.

I KNOW.  Those sad puppy eyes.  They slayed me.  And THIS…

…and THIS…

Don’t let these cute puppy photos fool you though.  She’s a wild child.  This girl is full of sass and personality and she pretty much drove us batshit crazy her first few months with us.  Just ask Strider.  He pretends sometimes like he can’t stand the sight of her, but secretly, I know he loves her.

She’s come to fit into our little family just perfectly, and I can’t imagine life without her.  She LOOOOVES her big brother and tries to be just like him.

I call her his “mini me.”

This is Echo now at over a year old.

Have you had enough of the dog pictures yet?  Because I have thousands more!  Just ask!  Haha…

Anyway, all of this preface is to say, our dogs are a big part of our lives.  I’ve been slowly gathering bits and pieces for the office redux, but have yet to settle on any art for the walls.  I decided that the dogs needed to be represented in the new office, so this past weekend I created some silhouettes of them.


  • Canvas (I used 12″ x 12″)
  • Contact paper
  • Profile photo of subject
  • Acrylic paint (I used Americana Deep Midnight Blue and Titanium White)
  • Foam brush
  • Fine paint brush for touch ups
  • Scissors
  • Pen/pencil

The hardest part of this project was getting good profile shots of the dogs.  Correction…getting a good profile shot of Echo.  Strider was easy, like he always is.  “What ma?  You need a profile pic?  Okay how about this?”

Echo on the other hand gets spazzy the minute I grab the camera.  Which is why you may have noticed that in almost all of her photos, she’s asleep.  Ha.

I finally got it by yelling out “Echo look!  What’s that?!” and pointing out the front window.  She probably thought it was a visitor or a cat or something so she went all on the alert.

A little mean, I know…but I gave her a treat afterwards :).  (Also please divert your eyes away from the tangled mess of cables behind her.  We need to take some zip ties to them.)

The first thing I did was to paint my canvases with the background color.  This is the color that you want your silhouette to be.  I did one white and one in dark blue.  I found that squirting some paint directly onto the canvas and spreading it out with a foam brush worked fine for me.  (Hey, I never said I was a professional painter!)

While the canvases were drying, I resized the photos in Photoshop to fit my 12″ x 12″ canvases, printed them up, then carefully cut them out.

Next I turned the cutout face down onto the back of my contact paper and traced around it.

After cutting the silhouette out, I peeled the backing off and positioned it onto my canvas, pressing outward firmly to flatten out any bubbles.

Then I painted over the whole canvas with my top color starting from on top of the cutout and working my way out to the canvas.

I let the first coat dry, then put another coat on for good measure.

Next, I carefully peeled the contact paper off, pulling straight up from the canvas.

It looks pretty good, but the edges were a little rough, so I went in with a fine tipped brush to touch it up.

I repeated the same steps with Echo’s silhouette in opposing colors, and voila!

I think I may touch up around the edges of Strider’s canvas with more blue, but overall I’m happy with the result and I think they’ll add a nice touch to the new office :).

I’ll wrap up with one more gratuitous dog shot for good measure.



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