Sam and Jack – Dog Portraits

It is always a pleasure and an honour to have appreciative customers return to get another illustration done or in this case two portraits. I was delighted (despite being a bit under pressure in the run-up to Christmas) when a former colleague, Keith, messaged me to ask if I could do two dog illustrations for him. One was for his daughter, Sarah and another was for his sister-in-law, Maureen.
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As I was always do I went and took the photographs of the dogs, Jack (Yellow Labrador) and Sam (Border Collie) at Keith’s home, when his family were out (as the portraits were to be a surprise). Jack was a ‘breeze’ to photograph, but Sam was altogether more boisterous and playful. Both of the dogs are beautiful animals; the Labrador has the most gorgeous chocolate-coloured eyes and the Border Collie has the most bushy squirrel-like tail, which impressed me a great deal.

Both illustrations were well received by the recipients and Keith said that his sister-in-law, Maureen, (who received it on her birthday) was ‘over the moon’. It’s nice to know that the illustrations I create touch the hearts of those that receive them.   I hope you enjoy them too…

Hugo – Cocker Spaniel Portrait

I have had an influx of dog portrait enquiries over the last month and because of my other commitments I have had to turn most of them down or put them on the ‘back-burner’ until next year.  There may be just enough time to illustrate a Labrador and a Border Collie before Christmas however…

My latest dog illustration was a commission from a friend and former colleague, Andrea, who I worked with many years ago.  Andrea has the most beautiful golden Cocker Spaniel, called Hugo, and she had been wanting an illustration of him for quite some time.  So, in August, we took him to a local beauty spot called The Derwent Walk where we took some photographs of him enjoying a run in the summer grass.  From the selection of photographs one was selected to create the illustration from…which you can see below…

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I met Andrea and handed over the illustration and I am pleased to say that she and her husband, Tony, are both delighted with it and that ‘Hugo’ has now gone to the picture framers.  It’s very special to think that I have created an illustration of a beloved pet that will be enjoyed for many years to come.  I also hope that Hugo thinks I have done him justice – especially those gorgeous golden curly ears of his 🙂 

Alfie – Springer Spaniel Pet Portrait

Of all of the breeds of dogs that I have drawn in my lifetime, spaniels must be the most frequent, followed close on the heels (or should I saw paws?) by Border Collies.
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A couple of weeks before Christmas I was contacted by a very friendly gentleman, named Keith, who asked me if I could draw his daughter’s fiance’s dog. Within a few days I was being collected by Keith and taken to his home to photograph the dog, who turned out to be a highly intelligent and very active Springer Spaniel, by the name of Alfie. I love it when people arrange to have special and totally unique illustrations done for friends and relatives. There is usually so much thought behind these actions and it always speak volumes of how highly regarded the recipients are to those that commission the illustration.

It’s always lovely to draw people’s pets, but when you have met the pet and made their acquaintance it does make the illustration all the more special for me. Alfie had a lot of white fur, which was complemented by his dark chocolate fur and the amber tone of his eyes. He is a very handsome dog indeed and one that would be a lovely companion to a dog lover.

The illustration took a few days to complete and because of the large area of white on Alfie’s chest, I put in a suffused raw sienna tone behind him, to highlight the profile of his fur.

The commission was done in secret and collected by Keith, who was very pleased with the result… I heard later, that the illustration had been a big hit with the young gentleman, Marc, who had received the illustration on Christmas Day.

So, that is another spaniel to add to my collection…and he is soon to be followed by a Jack Russell and a West Highland Terrier. They do say that ‘variety is the spice of life’…

Toby – Border Collie Pet Portrait

This is an example of one of the many dog portraits I have done over the years.
I have lost track of the many different breeds that I have illustrated on my drawing board, but I think the breed that must win for numbers alone (above all others) are spaniels. I think I have done more spaniels than any other breed of dog. Sometimes I seem to do the same breed in clumps and have three Border Collies in a row, followed by a Jack Russell or a Yorkshire Terrier…

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I took my own reference material (photographs mainly) for this illustration, as it is much easier to draw a dog – or any pet – once you have met him/her. Taking photographs from different angles (to choose the most suitable image later), is a good way of capturing the personality of the dog and knowing that the images you have taken will be suitable for the finished illustration.

Toby’s owner wrote to me to say that he was delighted with the portrait and that the picture has been viewed by his many friends around the world. Toby is a young Border Collie, re-homed with the diligence and care of Dogs Trust, www.dogstrust.org.uk, who made sure that the new home Toby was going to was both safe and suitable. I hope that the finished illustration shows both the intelligent and affectionate nature of Toby’s character.