A Golden Retriever Refreshed

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recently, a pet portrait client of mine contacted me for help in re-vitalizing the artwork of the NorCal Golden Retriever Rescue's (NGRR) logo. My client is an area rescue coordinator for NGRR and I've done portraits of two of her goldens and will be doing more portraits for her in the future. NGRR has been using this artwork for years but the originals have been lost and the versions they have are degraded and/or low-resolution. My client wants to make some decals and other items for the organization and the current art just wouldn't do. Of course, there were time and budget constraints as well.

Since the existing art is iconic for the organization, I couldn't do a complete overhaul, but the files I had to work from weren't very helpful. I enlarged them to the size I wanted for the new drawing and they were pixelated and grainy. I told her I would do my best to make the new art look like the existing work, but the drawing would be different. I decided on a pen & ink drawing as the best way to go. It would be the quickest, most affordable option and it will also reproduce well for various purposes.

Below are both versions enlarged; I think you can see the challenges in working with these two images!

I wanted to do the new drawing at approx. 5" x 7" - so I enlarged both existing images to the same size and printed them out. I traced over the old black and white version with pencil, tidied up the pencil drawing and then started inking. I had to do a lot of guessing and interpretation as I tried to use information from both of the old, fuzzy images. I'm pretty sure the old black & white version was either a half-tone of the color image or a pen & ink version drawn somewhere along the way.

The final drawing is a hybrid of both of the old images. I didn't want it to be as dark and blocky as the black & white image, but since I was using pen & ink, it's darker than the color image. The new drawing is not what I would have done if I'd had free reign to start from scratch, but I think it captures the spirit and intent of the original art and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

To see my really detailed golden retriever portraits in ink on scratchboard, click here.
I also did a fun portrait of a happy golden in color, click here for that one.


- - - All art and images ©Ann Ranlett, unless otherwise credited. All rights reserved. - - -

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