Rio – Dog Portrait

I can hardly believe this is my 100th blog post, how time flies!

It’s been a busy start to the year, which has seen me being fully occupied almost every minute. This is a good thing, in many ways, as the news is full of concerning headlines and it would have been more difficult for me if I hadn’t had things to keep me fully occupied.
Rio by Michael Quinlyn-Nixon for blogLast year, my friend, Mary Redshaw, requested me to do an illustration of her late pet – a beautiful greyhound, named ‘Rio’, whom she had obtained from a rescue centre.   Having re-homed Rio later in the dog’s life, Mary didn’t have a great deal of time to spend with her new greyhound, but that time was very enjoyable and special and Mary’s whippet,Tina, also loved her new companion.

They had some great times at Cullercoats beach and Mary has some stunning seascape photographs of the wonderful times they spent up there visiting Mary’s sister.

Illustrating black dogs can be a bit ‘tricky’ as very often there’s no shape or texture to the illustration; so to convey the beauty and the gentleness of the dog, as well as her texture, I made the drawing slightly more pastel, so the detail and expression can be seen. Mary is delighted with the pet portrait, which is now framed and displayed on the wall with all of Mary’s other beloved canine friends.

I always say the love of a dog is so unconditional; they don’t care what you look like or what you do for a living – they just show their belief and trust in you.

I think this is a very difficult time for all of us in our history and it is time now to have a belief and trust in each other at a time when it’s most needed.

Witch Hazel – Bear-a-thought Illustration

I’ve done many teddy bear illustrations over the years, but some of them I do forget, but this isn’t one of them.  Although I am not a great fan of Hallowe’en, I do love the colour and imagery that I had to capture in this drawing.
Witch Hazel by Michael Quinlyn-Nixon for blog
I was asked by a big company in America, to illustrate one of their many beautiful teddies and after looking through their glossy catalogue several times, I was ‘taken’ to this little witch bear, with her sequinned cape and starry hat.  I liked drawing this teddy bear ‘as she was’, which included her rather sad looking face.  A number of my customers used to say, “Can you draw that teddy bear smiling?” and I replied, “I draw the bears as they present themselves”.  Teddy bears have individual characters: some happy some sad – just like human beings.

I remember my youngest niece, Cora, was just a baby when I started this illustration and the small wizard or witch that was coming out of the jack-o-lantern resembled her a little bit (she will be cross with me for putting this on here!), so I had to include him/her in the illustration.  Many of my teddy bear illustrations have a soft pastel theme, but with this one I could use the strong colours of green, orange and purple without hesitation.  I loved doing the confectionery: lollipops, cupcakes and biscuits with the ghosts and black cat cake toppings.  It was a great deal of fun (I think I ate them ALL afterwards!).

Whatever you have done or are doing for Hallowe’en, I do hope that you get a lot more treats than tricks!  Enjoy yourself and be safe…