Cosmo lounges with a relaxed calm look on his face. He is a much loved pit bull mix that lives in the South Bay with two ladies. You can see that Cosmo is a mature dog. He has some gray to his black coat. Black dogs with shiny coats reflect light. You can see not only the contours of his body but also the blue cast in his coat. He casually gazing over his shoulder probably thinking what a great day to be a dog!
Angus in Graphite
Quite a few of my clients are repeat customers. Tracy is one of those clients. For Christmas this year she wanted a very special gift for a dear friend who had lost her dog, Angus. Angus was an Australian Shepherd. Sounds like he was a sweet soul and very dearly loved. When I first saw the photo that she gave me to use as a reference, I noticed the hair above Angus’s eye looked unusual. It had a roundish shape and the color differed from the rest of that area. Tracy told me that Angus had lupus and this was a side effect of the disease. I asked if she wanted me to draw how he would have appeared before the change in his appearance and she said that it wasn’t necessary and they all thought it made him unique, so I left it. This portrait was done in graphite pencil and made to fit a 11×14 in. matte in a 16×20 in. frame.
Brody, an English Cocker Spaniel, lives with four other dogs in Wisconsin on beautiful Lake Michigan. His other brothers, a chocolate lab, two chihuahuas and a beagle mix have all had their portraits done. As a matter of fact, Brody is the 9th portrait to go to this family. Brody’s owners have been clients of mine for almost 10 years, and each new dog member of the family has a portrait to hanging in the home. Brody’s portrait was a surprise by the husband to the wife as a beautiful Christmas gift. Usually the wife arranges the commissions. She knew at some time she was going to have the portrait done, but she just hadn’t arranged things yet. Her clever husband decided to have things arranged and it was framed and presented at Christmas!
Rocky in Graphite
Rocky, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, is a happy guy and he looks like it from his portrait! His owner bid on a portrait at the fund raiser for the Petaluma animal shelter this past summer. The bid wasn’t just for any portrait of a dog. I create portraits of your own dog. Rocky’s owner had many photos for me to reference. He wanted to be sure Rocky’s “smiling” face was captured. The photo below shows the favorite expression the owner has of Rocky. As a dog portrait artist I ask the owner what they like about the photo and if there is anything they wish were different. Sometimes even the owner doesn’t realize certain things before the portrait is finished or almost finished. In this case, you can see by the photograph that Rocky’s eyes are mostly covered by hair. Rocky’s left eye is peaking out but the right eye is hidden. When the portrait was complete it just didn’t look the best that it could be. So, I modified the portrait to have both eyes peaking out. The other change I made from the photo was to slightly narrow the shoulder area. The owner was delighted with the changes and stated, “That’s my Rocky!”
Photo used for portrait
Bluetick Coon Hound in Pastel
An organization for the Bluetick Coon Hounds have a yearly magazine for international members. I noticed while paging through this magazine that almost every photo of the dogs were of them baying while looking up a tree. The owners must love the excitement of their dogs in action having pursued an animal during a hunt. The shots were always in the evening. So this was the motivation of my portrait. I had photos of a dog baying from the dog training facility were I work. This was my starting point. Next I needed to have a tree or part of one. I did a sunset as it gave some interesting color. This piece was done in pastel and it is framed in a 21″x 27″ distressed black frame.