This is my latest pet portrait to come off the easel. I posted it a couple of days ago to a client in Navan, county Meath. She was delighted with the drawing of her boyfriend’s german shepherd called Bruce (what a coincidence, my chocolate labrador is called Bruce too). Unfortunately, Bruce has to be rehomed as his owners have a change in circumstances, so my client wanted her boyfriend to have a special keepsake to remind him of Bruce. He is absolutely beautiful and I just loved the reference photo the client provided. I had a few images, but the one I worked from worked so well. We decided to keep the background as is with some small tidying up of the vegetation and water.

Bruce the german shepherd dog portrait, 30 x 25 cm, pencil on paper

The drawing is 30 x 25 cm in size drawn with black graphite pencils. I am just loving using the new Mars Lumograph Black pencils by Staedtler. They have managed to create just the right combination of graphite and charcoal to give the drawing a wonderful darkness of charcoal without the shine of graphite.

Close up of a german shepherd dog portrait in pencil

I worked in layers of pencil, starting with a HB sketch and finishing with softer pencils of 4B and 6B. I worked on Fabriano 5 paper 300 gms as usual. The finished drawing was sprayed with a fixative and mounted in a neutral coloured mount. I took some photos of the drawing in progress and of the finished mounted drawing which you can see below.

The finished drawing in a mount ready for posting

The client was really happy with the finished drawing:

Hi Ivana! I cannot believe that picture is a sketch, it’s SO like the image! You have done an absolutely amazing job at capturing Bruce and I know my partner is going to love it!! Thank you so much, I will inform you when I receive the drawing. I am very much looking forward to seeing it in person!!

Bryoni, Navan, County Meath, Ireland
Finished sketch with promotional materials

I received another email from the client when she received the drawing. She is giving the portrait to her boyfriend in a few days, but she wanted to let me know it arrived safely:

Hi Ivana, I received the drawing yesterday. I looked at it last night and still can’t believe how incredibly accurate it is! I won’t be giving it to my partner until Sunday, I will let you know when I give it to him, although I have no doubt he’ll be delighted and overwhelmed with how perfectly you’ve captured Bruce. I can’t thank you enough for this, he will cherish it forever! Many thanks

Bryoni, Navan, County Meath, Ireland

Below are some photos of the drawing in progress, the reference and the finished portrait.