Thursday, July 9, 2020

I met Darla's owner a few years ago when I was visiting her restaurant.  She is a great chef!  We struck up a friendship and also an art consignment deal.  I exhibited my paintings in her restaurant.  A few years later when her beloved dog Darla passed she asks me to do a portrait of her.  Darla is 11 x 14 oil on canvas. 

I met Elle at a friend's Christmas party a few years ago.  She was very friendly and sweet.  When she passed my friend ask me to do a portrait of her for Elle's father's office.  I was happy to do it.  Elle's portrait is 11 x 14 oil on canvas.

Monday, July 6, 2020

A Cat named Goat portrait 11 x 14 oil

I received a call from a potential client who found me on a web search for pet portrait artist.  She explained she has a friend who loves her cat so much that she would like to have a portrait of it to give to her friend as a special birthday gift. She had a deadline of 2 weeks.....whew, ok no problem for me usually.  As I've said before I'm a fast painter so I went for it. 

She let me do my thing with the design, but the cat portrait is based on a photo of her friend holding Goat.  (By the way I found out that Goat means greatest of all time.)  This cat must have some attitude.  ok - I better paint a hell of a painting for a cat with a name that means "greatest of all time"!  As you can see I had a little fun with the design!

GOAT the cat is 11 x 14

Sally's sister Daisy - pet portraits by mike brouse

I painted Daisy's sister Sally, a terrier, about 7 years ago.  You can read Sally's story on this blog.  Daisy's mother contacted me again to paint her new dog Daisy when Daisy turned 5 years old.  Daisy is a beautiful purebred white labrador retriever.  I got to meet Daisy prior to painting her.  I try to do this if the client is local to the Boulder, Colorado area.  What a wonderful warm personality.  A real sweetheart!  I soaked her in and took some playful reference photos of her.

The portrait was a surprise father's day gift from Daisy's mother.  I try to make these paintings affordable for most people because they make such great gifts.   The 11 x 14 of Daisy was $350 oil on canvas.  Daisy's mother chose the background because it represents her back yard.  Daisy spends a lot of time back there.

Daisy is 11 x 14 oil on canvas

Chicken is Little (11 x 14 oil) sensitive dog portrait by Mike Brouse

I have been doing pet portraits continuously for about 14 years now.  I work from good reference photos of the pet.  I have done pet portraits in small and large sizes and for people all over the USA.  Kevin called me last week from Denver.  He wanted to inquire about 2 portraits of his sisters dogs for her birthday. My first thought was "very sweet"!  What a guy who loves his sister!  Then I asked when his sister's birthday is and he told me it's in 10 days.  Two oil portraits in 10 days..... and he wants them framed too.

Luckily I was between commission projects so I said I would try to make it happen.  I am a fast painter so I can usually finish a portrait in 6-8 man-hours, but it's pretty intense work.

So Chicken was first up.  Here he is as an 11 x 14 oil on canvas  - I charge between $350 - $475 for an 11 x 14 depending on how quickly the client wants the painting, and also if they want it framed or not.

Chicken the dog is 11 x 14 oil on canvas

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Painting Horses with Emotion by Mike Brouse

Horses are wonderful subjects for painters, poets, artists of all types have been drawn to these mysterious beasts.  Below is a sample of  works from this ongoing series of  horses. Link to my website.  Some of them are sold, but there are still some that are available as of Dec 2013.   I'm adding to the series all the time since horses are one of my favorite animal subjects. 

I really liked this poem about the horse by Sarah Katy Williams

Night Visitor 16 x 18 - Acrylic on canvas

"I am the Horse"

He stands proud, head held high majestically

Viewing me with reasonable suspicion

My scent fills his nostrils as he breathes in deep

He bows in acceptance and his trust is won

I reach out to touch his shimmering mane

As his soft muzzle brushes my cheek with hot air

I mount him, marvelling at the strength,

The intimacy of a closeness so rare.

As we take to flight the wind borders our path

Exhilaration and adrenalin floods me

His firm muscles beneath me pulsate

And his wild instincts tell him he must flee

I am comforted by the rocking rhythm

His pounding hooves hypnotise me

I am possessed by awe and childlike wonder

This mystical beast and I unite in harmony

We are one, he is me and I am the horse

Some samples of my paintings below.  

SOLD - Green Grass - 20" sq - Acrylic on canvas


Monday, September 12, 2011

mike brouse, Pet Portrait Artist in Boulder, Colorado

Five Dogs - 20 x 48 Oil

I really like meeting your dogs.  I enjoy the challenge of creating an impressionistic oil painting of your best friend.  A five dog painting is especially challenging.  This painting will clearly light up any room!

Here's a nice quote from a recent article about my work:  "His vivid and sensitive pet portraits give him special satisfaction to create on commission, as cherished mementos for pet owners. “My goal is for the animals to be expressive and communicative, and for there to be a sense of movement – as if they could get up and walk away.” Mike isn’t shy about talking about some of his “secrets” for creating his animated portraits. “I focus on brush movement, mixing cool with warm colors – which creates a push-pull ‘dance’ for the eye, and I use tiny dots of red and blue in the eyes and nose.”

Olivia 16 x 20 Oil

I usually paint my dog portraits on thick canvas, and then frame them in a contemporary dark floater frame. 

Tootie - 16 x 20 - Oil
Contact me for more information.

Nick & Snooks - 12 x 16 - oil
Yes, I do cats too!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Commissioning an oil painting from Mike Brouse

36 x 24 oil on canvas - Niwot, Co - looking west toward Long's Peak

Some of my favorite projects are commissioned oil paintings.  It's fun to work with a client to make their vision come true.  In this example, the clients walk on this path near their home in Niwot, Colorado and they wanted a specific scene incorporating the path looking west toward Long's Peak. 

I initially did three watercolor studies that incorporated three different ideas.  In the end they selected the one with the "diverging path", the ponderosa pines, and the wonderful view of Long's Peak.  I had them come to my studio several times to check on the progress.  Each time we made some adjustments until they were 110% satisfied. The client's happiness is my total concern during these projects.  It does not matter if its a small project (like a small pet portrait) or a large landscape project like this one.  Please contact me for more information.  I can provide references as needed.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sally - On her Watch, WestHighland Terrier - Dog Portrait Commission

12 X 16 - Oil on Canvas - SOLD

I rang the bell.  Sally met me at the door and she was immediately very friendly.  I was there to meet her and take photos of her in her backyard for an oil portrait.  We went out in the yard and I discovered that Sally liked to stand on a tall rock and overlook her territory.  She has a magnificent view towards the west overlooking a field, several back yards, and Long's Peak.  My goal was to get her to pose for me up on that rock. I played with her for a few minutes and gave her some treats.  Then I got the camera out and began taking pictures.  I was surprised that she was a little camera shy.  For every 25 shots I took only about two were useable as reference.  She was always on the move, and she is very short so I found myself laying down on the ground a lot.  After about 30 minutes outside with her I had the shots I needed. 

I sent several possible photos to Sally's owner for approval.  After I had a clear direction I produced the above oil painting.  Sally wore a great collar that day and it really helped the portrait to pop.  I put all the paint and important strokes up around her face.  I want the viewers eye to always end up on that great face.  Thanks for the great time Sally!

All the best,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Commissioning a Pet Portrait Painting - Ben + Angie & Mike's Cat, + Emme the Shih-Tzu

Ben - 2011 - 16 x 20 - oil

Anne wanted to honor Ben with a portrait for their family.  I painted Ben from client supplied photos.  I never got a chance to meet him. 

Angie and Mike love Figaro, and she loves them back!  Figaro was adopted by Angie over ten years ago. After being commissioned I went to the house to meet Figaro for the first time.  She made sure I was friendly and then she warmed up.  I shot about 50 photos of Figaro, and Angie provided me with some of her own favorite photos via emailed jpeg images.  We looked at the room Angie planned on hanging the painting (a bithday gift from her husband Mike).  She selected a 14" square format that I would paint on canvas and frame for them. 

When I got home I looked at all the pics and sent them a few to review.  I made suggestions, but it is always up to the client to select the photo upon which the portrait will be based.  We went back and forth via email a few times until they settled on the pose shown in the pic.

As you can see from the finished painting below I try very hard to capture an impression of the pet.  I add color, bold brush strokes and texture to emphasize important areas.  I try to bring attention to the face, eyes and nose while everything else plays a supporting role.  I also try to create a piece of art.  This is not just a pet portrait to me.  I think that is an important distinction.  I am not a pet portrait artist, although there is nothing wrong with that.  I am a painter who loves and respects animals.  I do pet portraits upon request.  I try very hard to capture the beauty of the animal on canvas.  I prefer to meet the pet in person and take some pics, but I have painted many pets from around the country using only pictures that were provided to me. 

Here are some additional examples of the pet portrait work I do.  

Emme - with her ball - 12" square oil on panel

Emme passed in 2010 and the owners daughter purchased a commission pet portrait for them as a surprise gift! 

Olivia 16 x 20 - oil