Tag Archives: dog

Dog Gone!

Today I delivered my fifth dog portrait commission in as many months. I’m a cat person, but I believe all animals (even the blobfish) are beautiful. Dogs have particularly expressive, soulful faces, so portraits of dogs are especially appealing.

My cats wander into my studio and critique my work. They’ve been sitting on my dog portraits or chewing up my reference photos, so I’m interpreting that to mean they don’t approve. My clients have been very happy though, and I’m grateful for their business. Business has been steady since I put out a notice on Facebook that I was available for a few pet portraits before Christmas. It’s been good practice too, and I feel like my abilities have increased with each new portrait.

I’ve got three more pups to paint, and then I’ll definitely be ready to tackle some new subject matter. Maybe a cat. Aren’t there any cat people out there who love their kitties so much that they must immortalize them in oil on canvas? My theory is that cat people tend to be creative types, so they’re painting their own portraits. Or maybe it’s just that they have so many thousands of cat photos on their phones that they don’t feel the need for more cat pictures.

Jeff’s Best Friend

Jeffs Best Friend SMALL

I finished this pet portrait back in October, but I couldn’t show it to the world yet, because it was a commission for a Christmas gift.  It started out as a pencil drawing, but I just wasn’t satisfied with the blackness of Max’s eyes, and I didn’t want to leave out the warm tones in his fur, so it evolved into a colored pencil painting.  Or technically mixed media because I had to use ink to get the obsidian-like sparkle in his peepers.

This was my first experience with laid paper.  If you’re not familiar with the term, laid paper has ridges in it that are the result of the manufacturing process.  It was the usual type of once until it was gradually replaced by wove paper wove paper which has a uniform surface without lines.  I learned that recently when I’d been reading a lot of those little signs next to the art at museums that describe what you’re looking at.  A lot of them said “ink on white laid paper” or “printed on cream laid paper,” etc.  I took out my phone and educated myself a bit.  Thanks, Wikipedia!

My advice for laid art paper:  Yes, when you see it on clearance for just 15 cents, by all means buy it.  Just don’t try to use colored pencil on it.  It was a bit like drawing on fine-whale corduroy and those ridges showed through unless I really pressed down hard.  This work in progress detail photo shows pretty well what I was dealing with:

Jeffs Best Friend WIP detail SMALL

I was very happy with the finished work.  My friend who commissioned it got a little choked up when I showed her.  Her husband who received it for Christmas gave me a hug and thanked me the next time he saw me.  I’ll call that a success!  Here’s how they framed it:

Jeff's Best Friend Framed SMALL

If anyone else is interested in a pet portrait, I am open to doing more commissions.  Valentine’s day would be a great time to surprise your sweetheart with a portrait of his or her special furry friend.  Contact me for details. 

A bonus chuckle — This is what my cat thinks of dog art:

Jeffs Best Friend Henrys Opinion SMALL