In August 2020, I launched an original art dog portraits service. This decision came, in part, from the recent loss of my mothers canine companion.
As a professional artist, I love creating art, for both myself and others, to cherish. Dog portraits are a natural extension of this.
Completed in artist quality coloured pencil and with a supporting role from Pitt artist pens and Inktense ink pencils. The combination of these mediums, affords a richness of colour and level of detail that I am delighted with.
Why draw dogs?
I chose to offer dog portraits, firstly because I have a huge amount of affection for dogs. Enjoying their unconditional love and companionship, was something I grew up with. So, wanting to keep the memories of a faithful friend alive; is something I have first hand experience of.
Secondly, I thoroughly enjoy drawing and painting animals. Although, I quite often focus on species that are endangered or wilfully mistreated; I wanted to share my love of animals on a more domestic and everyday level too.
Yes, we usually have a plentiful supply of photos of our pet dogs to keep and cherish. However, having a dog portrait created is a unique alternative to a photograph. Capturing your pet’s likeness in an original piece of art, is a fitting tribute to a much-loved pet.
Creating a dog portrait.
All dog portraits are created on A3 size art paper and are usually landscape orientation. The paper weight is sufficient to limit any bending or wrinkling from the use of the ink pencils; which are used for the base colour.
Pitt artist pens are used to include whiskers, odd white hairs or small patches of white fur; but on occasion to add depth to densely coloured areas.
It can take between ten to twenty hours to complete an individual dog portrait, so I afford a minimum of a week for each dog portrait. This also allows me necessary time to rest my hand.
With coloured pencil as the primary medium used, I build layers of colour using tiny pencil marks. Black fur takes the longest amount of time, but white fur can be time consuming too. Short fur requires more precision, compared to curly haired dogs. Basically though, it is about effectively capturing a dogs likeness and giving the appropriate amount of time to achieve this.
Why use coloured pencils?
Above all, the artist quality coloured pencils I use, have excellent lightfastness, are smudge resistant and are water-resistant. Also, because there is no drying time needed; the simplicity of coloured pencils becomes a strength. (Read the blog on Coloured Pencils for more insights.) If there where no need to rest the joints and muscles of my hand, I could indefinitely continue to work.
In addition, it is easy to keep a precision point, by sharpening regularly. This allows me to add and build up tiny marks to create the fur texture. Examined closely, the several colours used to create the fur, can be seen.
Coloured pencils also erase with a putty rubber, so making it possible to reduce the colour density and laydown. Thankfully this doesn’t happen often. But sometimes, not achieving the right colour blend for fur, does mean layers of colour need to be stripped back. Then using slightly different colour shades, I repeat the process.
Buying a dog portrait.
Buying a dog portrait is a straight forward process. After first contact, a pay link is supplied for the up front deposit that needs to be paid.
Photos of your dog then need to be provided digitally; approximately three to five different pictures. A face on image with alert ears, is my preferred pose. Plus, I need to be able to see ear shape and eye colour. I may ask for pictures of the sides of the dogs face too, if there are particular markings I need to capture.
Visual updates are regularly given by me, right up until the portrait is fully completed.
After completion, another payment link is sent for the final cost plus the shipping value. Dog portraits are dispatched after receipt of this payment. Tracking references are provided as soon as the parcel has been shipped.
Royal Mail guaranteed delivery service is used for UK customers. Overseas shipping will be priced accordingly.
Dog montages are priced upon request, and will require additional time to complete.
Do you have a pet dog you treasure?