maud earl pointer study in oils

by | Jun 21, 2022 | Artistic Endeavors, Oil Painting | 12 comments

One of the best parts about being in this transition is that I am finally getting “free time” after all of the preparations and packing that dominated my time the past couple of months.  I’ve been doing restful things like watching TV, finishing some knitting projects, and doing lots of drawing and painting.  I just have a small rental house to take care of, so I have been a lady of leisure!  Well, I’m still working, but my work is enjoyable and I’ve been able to have a lot more flexibility in how I spend my time.  That means I’m getting around to painting subjects that have been in my “to paint” file for a long time.  Pictures from the beach, landscapes I’ve done sketches of but never painted, and master studies.  One of the master studies I have been itching to paint is Head Study of an American Pointer by Maud Earl, 1932.

Head Study of an American Pointer by Maud Earl, 1932 | miss mustard seed

I haven’t painted many dogs, but I’ve wanted to paint Sebastian for a while and I’m often asked about pet portraits.  I love Maud Earl’s style and this American pointer is a handsome fellow that I wouldn’t mind hanging in my house.  The muted colors are also a perfect study for me.

I started with a sketch and then an underpainting on a linen board.  I started him a little late in the day, so I had to stop at this stage, which was difficult because I was eager to finish!  It’s sometimes nice to slow down, though, to notice places in the drawing that need to be adjusted.

original oil study of maud earl's American pointer | miss mustard seed

You can see my painting process for this Maud Earl American pointer study in this time-lapse video I shared on Instagram…

And here is the final painting…

original oil study of maud earl's American pointer | miss mustard seed

I call these studies instead of copies because I always end up putting my own style on the painting and my goal isn’t to make an exact replica.  The point of a study is to learn from artists you admire who are no longer around to teach their methods.  It’s amazing how much you can learn.  In this Maud Earl American pointer study, I learned so much about mixing colorful whites that don’t overpower.  I also learned a lot about capturing an animal’s expression.  I just enjoyed every minute of it and went straight into painting portraits of my own animals.  My mom, who is keeping Sebastian through our move, told me he was very put off that I was painting other dogs. (I’ll share those in another post.)

original oil study of maud earl's American pointer | miss mustard seed

For now, this Maud Earl American pointer study is a keeper for me.  I hope to find him a gilt frame and hang him in our new house, but I’m sure I will paint more Maud Earl studies.  If you’re interested in hanging her work in your home, you can find vintage and antique Maud Earl prints on Etsy.

original oil study of maud earl's American pointer | miss mustard seed

I don’t see myself being a pet portrait artist, but I’ve taken on a couple of practice portraits while I’m in this time of flux.  It’ll just be a fun little project and who knows which direction I might go as an artist in the future.

original oil study of maud earl's American pointer | miss mustard seed

For now, it’s just fun having the time to explore…



  1. Babs

    What a lovely portrait. So happy to hear you are relaxing a bit after what must have been an incredible amount of work.

    I have started your Alla Prima class and am 50% complete. I am enjoying it and look forward to when I can have some finished work to frame. It’s been (yikes!) almost 50 years since I studied oil painting and the “smells” are making me remember quite a lot…being a young girl and all that that entails. Odors do have a way of making you remember things.

    I still do watercolors and do enjoy them. I know you manage to do many different mediums so I am hoping I can do both.

    So glad you are continuing to take us along on your adventure!

  2. Linda

    What a lovely portrait!

  3. Sandi

    I’m following in your footsteps as my husband and I sell our home and downsize to a considerable smaller home. I’m not excited to go through this process but it’s necessary. I hope to have down time once we ‘land’ again and get to projects. I love your painting, it’s very realistic! Enjoy your time and happy house hunting!

  4. Angela

    I. Love. Dog. Portraits. !!! I have been wanting to collect a few…we had rescued Greyhounds (5) over many years, and the art world is full of beautiful Greyhounds. I think that is what started my love of dog portraits. Your study is so lovely. Yes, I want you to paint one of my doggies when you are ready…let us know! (p.s. my doggies, both big and little, have all crossed the Rainbow Bridge.)

  5. Karen B.

    You are so talented. I love the sailboat print I purchased, and this dog is amazing. I love your work.
    Thank you,
    Karen B.

  6. Sandy

    Always enjoy seeing your work. This puppy is so beautiful…although you might not want to tell Sebastian I said that.

  7. Jerry Stocks

    Absolutely fabulous painting. Where have you landed temporarily?

  8. Lee

    Any way this would go on Facebook? I can’t seem to access instagram, and would love to see this.

  9. Jody K

    Absolutely fabulous as usual! ❤️

  10. Addie

    WOW!!!! This is pure perfection!!!! Maybe you didn’t think of yourself as an animal portrait artist but……YOU ARE!!!!! You can and do anything and everything!!!!! The talent just pours out of you…or should I say rushes out of you. You are truly blessed. And deserve all the successes you have received.
    Can’t wait to see the new place!!!

  11. Rita

    This is beautiful. It’s a favorite for sure. You have really developed your talent over the last few years. Although I think you had some inherent talent from the beginning. Very inspiring. Thank you for introducing us to Maude. She is wonderful.

  12. Sheri

    If you dog is with your parents, that leaves me wondering where are the cats?
    All the best with your move!


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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