Friday, March 27, 2009
My latest completed portrait is of Hogan, a shepherd mix. Sadly, I was never able to meet Hogan, as he had passed away before his owner contacted me. Fortunately, she had a couple of photos of him that had enough detail for me to use. The photo we both liked best wasn't good enough resolution, so we discussed her other photos and decided on this one.
I cropped it, which if you've been following my art, you know I like to do with many of my portraits.
This is the greyscale version.
And here's a detail of the portrait.
In an ideal situation, I'm able to take my own reference photos for pet portraits, but when that isn't possible, as in Hogan's case or if the pet is too far away (as in Ripple's case), I can come up with a suitable option based on the photos the client does have (or can take). Sometimes I have to go with the looser watercolor style that doesn't have (or require) as much detail. Or perhaps I'll just create a smaller portrait if the client really, really wants a pencil or scratchboard drawing. This is one of the reasons I'm glad I'm able to offer different styles and mediums, it gives me and my clients more possibilities. A big part of the portrait process is discussing all the options and the client's wishes up front - if we're both on the same page, we'll both be satisfied with the end result.
I'll use this opportunity to remind you that our dear pets never live as long as we'd like, so it's important to take the time to get some good photos of them now. Even if you have no plans to commission a portrait, you'll have wonderful photographic memories that you can cherish. For tips on getting good photos of your pets, you can read this article I wrote about pet photography for the Pet Gazette a while back. If you're interested in taking photos for a portrait commission, you can also read my pet photo guidelines.