Have a look at this beautiful Boston Terrier oil painting. The focus is on the dogs face and expression by creating detailed close-up crop of the original photo reference. Boston Terriers have a very short face and their eyes are set wide apart, large, round and dark. One of the eyes of this cutie showed a lot of pink as well, which I used to really make that eye pop.
Every bit of color helps to create an interesting contrast and adds to creating the impression that the portrait is three dimensional rather than a flat representation. I also used a lot of brush work in the muzzle and showed a bit of the tongue in a vibrant crimson. The entire dog is places on a neutral warm colored background. I picked the colors from the background colors in the reference photo and really punched them up in intensity. The end result is the painting below.