Custom pet portraits - double pet portrait - Rottweiler and Dogue de Bordeaux cross
I did a very enjoyable set of three custom pet portraits for Jo of her adult children's dogs, as surprise Christmas gifts.
The trio of dogs were a Rottweiler, Daisy, and a Dogue de Bordeaux (cross), Pixie, that were to go on a double portrait. And then, a single portrait of the Chow Chow, Shadow, her son's dog. I've shared that here...
This post concentrates on the double pet portrait I did of Jo's daughter's two dog's, the Rottweiler and Dogue de Bordeaux cross.
As Jo regularly looks after both of these dogs, she was able to take her time and get some good photos outside in bright light, for me. Especially for dark coloured dogs, like these, it's important to take photos in good light so that I can see as much detail as possible in the face to draw.
Even for a double pet portrait, I will draw both dogs separately and work on each portrait individually, so it's best to take separate photos of the dogs so that we can capture as much detail as possible in their faces.
It can be helpful though, to try and make sure that the photos are taken from a similar angle and in similar lighting, as it does make it easier, then, to make the two portraits work well on the one single artwork.
Jo had a great outdoor photo session with both dogs in the garden, as you can see above, and came up with a great, really clear, selection from which I thought these two would work really well together.
She was also very enterprising at taking photos of the space where she thought the artworks might end up, so that we could discuss the correct size, proportions, and colour schemes to go with the rooms.
Once we'd discussed exactly what Jo wanted, and agreed on which photos I would use, I asked Jo for a 50% deposit, payable through Paypal, before I started work on her commissioned pet portraits.
The colour scheme was to be neutral with a grey background, and the colours of the dogs quite natural.
Jo had a great idea for the backgrounds - and I really loved doing this: making a background of hand-written text created out of words that were very meaningful to the recipients.
I thought this really made the portraits feel deeply personal and brought the dogs right into the heart of their families.
Here's how the art process went... Click on the images to see them larger with more explanation about the process...
I showed Jo the final digital version of the artwork, to make sure she was happy with everything. She gave me really useful feedback so that I was able to make sure that the colours of the fur on Daisy (which I had taken from the photo as being quite a light colour) were darker and more true to life as they are on the dog herself. As the artwork is created digitally, it's quite easy to change little things like this and make sure that the artwork is just right for the recipient.
We also played around a bit with layout of how the two dogs were positioned next to each other, and we tried a couple of different versions out (above) to get the one that Jo liked best (which did end up being the original version). Again, this was relatively easy to do with working digitally (although I do still have to go from the original drawing, so not everything can be changed at this stage).
You can see the final version below going from screen to artwork... Please click on the images to see them larger...
Once Jo was happy with the double portrait, I asked her for the remaining 50% of the commission fee before I ordered the giclee art print of the agreed version and start on the artwork of Shadow, which would be created to match the double portrait.
I was really excited for her to have both of the commissioned pet portraits together - it's still a bit of a thrill to see the actual physical artwork 'in the flesh' rather than just the digital version.
Please click on the images above to see the full versions
I will be sharing about Chow-Chow portrait I also did for Jo, soon... EDIT: See it here!
A pet portrait makes a really thoughtful gift for someone you love (or to yourself!). Find out more about the process, here...