Dogs challenge us to learn patience, humility, and flexibility … and we’re better people because we have dogs. Oil painting is similarly challenging: To capture light and shadow with a medium that can sometimes be unpredictable and take days to dry teaches you patience, humility, and flexibility. That’s why Irish artist Ian Healy’s dog portraits have captured our Dogster imagination.

Painting with oils, Healy combines a challenging medium with a challenging subject to create expressive images of dogs, which strive to elevate canines to the treasured place they deserve by posing them in the classic portrait framing. By painting dogs as artists have painted people for years, Healy captures the divine spirit of the dog with all the respect and dignity Canis lupus familiaris has earned through its devotion to us.

Healy has garnered multiple awards for his work, and does commissions for dog owners who want to find a way to immortalize their canine companions.

The brightness of Healy’s paintings draws the eye, inspiring the uplifting mood we get when we come home to our dogs’ wagging tails and lolling tongues. Treating his subjects with sensitivity, Healy captures that deep, soulful dog gaze with specific attention to their expressive faces. Looking at one of Healy’s paintings is almost as good as looking at a real dog — almost.

 Images via Paint the Dog

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