Friday, March 02, 2007
Abby is a sweet spaniel mix who resides at FieldHaven Feline Rescue with lots of cats and some horses. She gets along well with everyone - human and critter alike. This portrait was created in ink on scratchboard. It may seem that black or dark animals are challenging to render, but to me they're not and I actually enjoy working in the darker tones. There's really not that much black on Abby's portrait, the reference photo was taken outdoors, where there was plenty of light shining on her coat, so the majority of the tones are dark and medium grays.
The other portrait is of Sydney, a golden retriever and Sammy, a yorkie (Yorkshire terrier). I painted this portrait in watercolor on Yupo. Sydney & Sammy's parents wanted something bright and colorful, and that's certainly what they got! Notice that I smoothed out Sydney's "crazy ear" where her fur was sticking out a bit too much.
Unlike most portraits, I didn't need to take my own photos as both Abby's and Sydney & Sammy's parents were able to provide me with excellent photos of their own. This is not usually the case; I prefer to take my own photos as most owner-provided photos lack the detail that I need. Taking my own photos also provides me with the opportunity to meet my subjects and get an idea of their personalities - I never turn down a chance to meet new pets!
If you'd like to know more about taking photos of your pets, whether it's for a portrait or just for fun, please read my pet photo guidelines sheet and/or my article about pet photography.