Monday, January 16, 2012


I recently had the opportunity to create this pet portrait for one of my repeat clients. It's not the usual pose for most portraits, but after reviewing photos and discussing the dogs personality we decided to go with this concept. This is one of Stella's favorite things to do...lay on her wall and look out over her domain. When Stella is gone this is what her owners will most remember about her, so while it doesn't show her loving face it does speak volumes about who she was and it will tug at their heart strings.

The portrait is a composite of several photos of the dog, the wall and the field in different seasons. One of the biggest challenges when working with several photos is trying to get the lighting right. Often times the photos are taken at different times of day or some on cloudy days and some in sunshine. The light may be coming from the left, right, straight on, overhead, etc. so it's important to blend them all so it doesn't appear the subject lives on a planet with more than one sun. 

I painted Stella's portrait in acrylics on illustration board. The wall was one of the more enjoyable parts as I spattered paint with a toothbrush and applied some with a natural sponge to create the stone texture. Several warm and cool glazes or washes were applied over that to further bring out the texture though it's hard to see in the photo. Stella was also created in several layers and there are touches of lavender, blue and yellow in her coat to reflect her surroundings and give an otherwise plain black and white coat some punch.

Stella's portrait has been approved and is on it's way to Vermont to be given as a special birthday present. Pet portraits make unique and memorable gifts for all occasions. It is always a privilege to create something like this for my animal and pet loving clients. Perhaps you have a special occasion coming up and would like something out of the ordinary to give to that special someone. All it takes are some good photos and a little information and I can create that treasured gift for you. I'm always just an email away! You can contact me at I'll be waiting to hear from you!