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.
Graphite of English Golden Retriever
For the last couple years I have made donations using my art to help the local animal shelter. I try to make the donations a bit more interesting to the bidder by offering an art piece that they can have done of their own dog (or cat). I have a piece displayed to show an example of the style of my offer.
Last year it was a graphite piece of Hunter, our English Golden Retriever. This year I sent over a piece of Ruby, our vizsla, done in conte’. Maybe it’s just me but I’ve always been drawn (excuse the pun) to graphite drawings and conte’ drawings. I really like the clay coloring of conte’. The warmth of the earthy color itself is a big part of the attraction. This old world medium was first discovered in the 1700 by a French man by the name of…you guessed it…Conte’. From the sound of it, the piece was popular. I expect the winners to contact me soon. I look forward to seeing what dog or cat I will do next!
Quote from Petaluma Animal Service Foundation: “Dear Lesley, Thank you so very much for your donation to the Petaluma Animal Shelter’s Fundraiser. With your support we were able to raise over $32,000.00 to continue saving lives and finding forever homes for our pets in need. The PASF Board”
- Conte’ art of Ruby
Mr. Austin is a beautiful big, exuberant retriever mix. I have had the opportunity to see him in action many times as he and his owners are clients of the Dairydell Canine, the dog training facility where I work. He has been in the beginning obedience as well as the advanced training classes that I teach. Most of the time he comes to the private dog park to hang out with his friends and romp around. His owners decided some time ago that they wanted a special portrait of this handsome guy. They loved the detail of the colored pencil/watercolor pieces, but also wanted the happy smiling face. One unique thing about Austin’s appearance is that he has a few interesting white sections of hair. One area is on the right side of his neck as you view the portrait. This piece seemed to meet their expectations as there were quite a few happy tears. The piece is small and tight. Rich blues and burgundy colors were added to the black coat. The head measures 6.5 to 5.5 inches. Leaving white space around the image, the ladies are going to frame it with a large matte in a 16×20” frame. I have several pieces framed like this and they are quite dramatic. Thank you ladies for the pleasure of creating this special art piece for your home!
Ruby in Graphite
Ruby the vizsla is 3 years old and a nice age of maturity for a portrait. There is some thing very dignified about the graphite portraits. My personal favorite is the 3/4 angle as seen in this portrait. The beauty of art is that if the photo is not quite perfect with imperfection shown on the dog, I can eliminate or change things. In the photo, Ruby had allergies and a runny eye. Also, the flash reflected in her eye so I needed to make a change to that as well. I also “opened” her eye up slightly. Here is the finished result.
Conte’ art of Ruby
Just for comparison I wanted to include the portrait of Ruby in Conte’. I used this as a donation for a fundraiser for the Petaluma Animal Service Foundation event in 2013.