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Press Release


Reference Photo of

The subject of the painting

Final Painting

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Walt Peterson Captures Likenesses of Two Beloved Golden Retrievers

Written by: Carrie Wirth
Client: Walt Peterson
Release Date: 2014-06-17

Wellington, FL – June 17, 2014 – Walt Peterson has a gift for depicting the essence of the subject of his paintings. He is a gifted portrait artist who specializes in realistic paintings of people, pets and horses. Sometimes a client challenges Peterson to recreate a likeness from a series of photos. Then, the South Florida artist must combine the images to create one image that portrays the exact likeness and spirit of the subject.

Peterson was recently challenged by two portrait commissions. His client, founder of a Golden Retriever rescue and her husband had commissioned Peterson for another painting in the past. Then, they approached him about one of their dogs who had passed away.

“I met with them at their home, and they showed me photos,” Peterson said. “All their photos had been taken with their mobile phones, which distorts the images. So, the photos of dogs had oversized noses, tiny hindquarters–it’s always harder to render properly.”

Peterson understands anatomy so he was able to move forward with the painting and represent the dog accurately. He presented the painting to the client, and they were thrilled.

Then, the same clients requested a second commission of another dog that had passed away.

“They said that they didn’t have any photographs of how they remembered her and how they wanted her captured in the painting– in the pool swimming with tennis balls in her mouth,” he said.

The only actual photos of the dog that Peterson had to work with were not ideal. One was one taken indoors, looking up. The other photo was of her outdoors with tennis balls in her mouth, but the camera was below eye level, looking up in the shade. In both cases the dog was dry, not wet.

Peterson had those two photos for reference, and he used their other dog as a model. This dog had a blockier head and different ears, but Peterson used this dog to help him partially capture the other dog.

“I took her outside and wet her coat, gave her a tennis ball, got the lighting comparable to the other photo and took that photo, then I took two more at other locations just for reference.”

He created a small sketch, from the combined images and emailed it to his client.

“She told me, ‘Wow, that’s incredible! It looks just like her, can you paint it?’ shared Peterson.

So, he stretched the canvas, did the sketch first, and proceeded to paint.

“They loved the painting,” Peterson said. “Now they have three that hang in their home. I did the first one of a beautiful, fair-colored golden and then the one of the swimming dog and one other golden retriever.“

About Walt Peterson - Fine Artist
A master fine artist specializing in realism of people, horses and pets. Peterson is a painter of life, possessing the innate ability to bring all subjects to life. Plans are underway for a Wellington show

To learn more about Walt Peterson the artist and to preview his portfolio, visit his website at or visit his Facebook page by clicking here.



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