I want to show the journey of one dog in different stages, from a tiny newborn bundle of helpless wrinkles, to a bright-eyed, needle toothed puppy, all the way to a wise and sweet senior because at every stage of their lives they are the same dog, and it is as much of an honour to share their lives whether at puppy-hood, adulthood or when they’re grey-faced and perfect.
Unless I am drawing a large or complicated piece, I prefer to do a simple sketch first and then change or tweak anything I’m unhappy with as I add layers of pastel. Mia’s markings really threw me off with this one however, the white on her muzzle kept tricking me into thinking everything was crooked! You can make out the several faint pencil marks of previous attempts on this sketch.
I started with a simple, very faint sketch in blue pastel. Once I was happy with the layout, I then added a layer of ivory colour for the background with Faber Castell pastel pencil to create a smoother surface for blending.
With any original piece of art, it is highly recommended to use a professional framer and it is too easy to damage the artwork. If you decide to tackle framing yourself, here are some tips that may be useful…
As portraits, especially pet portraits, can rarely be done from life a huge part of creating a portrait that a client will love is choosing the right photograph. Source: Choosing the right photograph
Extra Small – 8″ x 6″ / 15 x 10 cm As a general guide a 8″ x 6″ size is suitable for a single pet’s head and shoulder portrait:
I always find it amazing to watch my dogs turn from floppy snoring sofa cushions into crazy energetic explorers at the slightest mention of a walk, and I really want to capture that with each painting in this series. To watch them interact with the environment and turn the world into their playground never ceases to fascinate me!
It can be difficult to decide whether or not to include a background when commissioning a painting or drawing. Here are five different background options.
Black animals are notoriously difficult to photograph, so I was really glad to get such great reference photographs of these two black Labradors.
The image is of Juta at Grey Mare’s Tail in Scotland and it really strikes a chord with me as she is so keen and playful, oblivious to the cold water or the stormy day, just intent on watching what’s about to be thrown or maybe the birds flying overhead! I hope it depicts a familiar scene for others too.