Monday, 3 March 2014

Not Just a Portrait.

Over the weekend, I completed the portrait of the two German shepherds Spike and Rocket. I really enjoyed this piece and am extremely pleased with the outcome, as is the customer who tells me she was in tears when I posted the scan!

Sadly, both of the dogs in this portrait have passed away; one a couple of years ago and the other much more recently, only a few weeks ago. This portrait was commissioned by Gemma as a surprise gift to her husband and on several of my w.i.p photos, she had remarked on how lovely it is to see 'her boys' together again.

Something I try to keep in my mind at all times when I'm working on a portrait is that I'm not just drawing an animal; I'm drawing someone's pet. As a crazy cat lady life-long cat lover, I truly understand how much our pets can mean to us, especially when you have one in particular for many years as many of us do. When it comes to having to say goodbye to that pet, it is surely as difficult as saying goodbye to a family member.

Potentially, I have done more portraits of animals that have passed away than those that are still with us. It's always very sad when a customer gets in touch and tells me that they recently lost their dog/cat but the very fact that they choose to have a portrait done in memory of said pet, and not only that but they choose ME to do it for them, is a wonderful sentiment and one that I am aware of throughout the whole process. Obviously, I always strive to capture as much of the subject's spirit and character as I can in my drawing; it just helps to remember that, whether the animal is still with us or not, the portrait is going to be a lasting reminder of that furry family member.

I would say that knowing I am creating such a personal piece of art is my biggest inspiration. When I find myself struggling, it really does help to remember that I am drawing an animal that has brought joy to someone's life and that they deserve to have their likeness captured to the highest possible quality. I like to think, or at least I hope, that I do achieve that with my work.

Every time I am commissioned, it is an honour.

No comments:

Post a Comment