Toby the collie

I completed this portrait two weeks ago. Toby is so lovely here, I really wanted to capture his beautiful expression. The client provided me with lots of reference photos and a lot of them involved Toby jumping up onto his owner’s lap. I thought it would be lovely to capture this in the painting. She was very emotional when she picked up the painting and the client was delighted his girlfriend liked the portrait so much and sent me a lovely email:

Just want to say a very big thank you for work on this, it looks fantastic and you could see for yourself how moved she was by its likeness. Will definitely have no hesitation in recommending you to friends/family in future

Thanks again, Stephen

collie painting

The painting is 30 x 40 cm in size and painted with acrylics on stretched canvas. Toby was a black and white collie with gorgeous eyes. I used burnt umber and ultramarine blue for the blacks and the background.

 

 

Baby and chihuahua

I worked on this portrait a couple of weeks ago. It captures a lovely friendship between a baby and a chihuahua. The baby is Lauren and the dog is Ted. They are their family’s sweethearts and the drawing was commissioned as a present for Lauren’s christening. My client, Lauren’s grandmother, wanted to gift her son something very special to remember the day. The drawing is 20 x 25 cm in size and drawn with graphite pencils on paper. Because both the dog and baby very quite pale, I decided to use a darker shaded background. I think it worked out quite well. The client was delighted with the result and thought her son will be too:

I’m sure they will be very happy with this portrait as they sent a video this morning with Lauren playing with Ted so I’m delighted I got you to commission this.

baby and chihuahua portrait

I took some photographs when I was finished and the drawing was mounted. There is an image of the initial sketch too.

Milo – terrier painting

Meet Milo! He is a very sweet terrier and I worked on his portrait a few weeks ago. His painting was a gift for his owner for Christmas commissioned by his wife. She wanted something a little bit different for her husband and bought a gift voucher for Milo’s portrait. The painting is 20 x 25 cm in size and painted in acrylics on stretched canvas.

brown black terrier dog portrait

I worked on a cerulean blue background as a complementary colour to the warm ochres and umbers I used in the fur. I left the blue poking out from under the warm tones of the painting. I hope you all like it 🙂

Milo had such a lovely inquisitive expression in the photo and I wanted this to translate in the painting. The photo was very detailed so I had a lot to work with. I am including some progress photos below together with the reference photo.

I have a few paintings just finished off my easel and I will be updating the blog over the next few days, so please keep checking 🙂

Sophie and Ted – cat painting

black and brown cat painting

This painting is just finished today. It is of Sophie and Ted, two lovely cats. I worked from two reference photos to create one composition. I worked with acrylics on stretched canvas 20 x 30 cm in size. I decided to use a red ground underneath. This brought a lovely warmth into the painting. I left the red poking out in spots to create some interest. The background was a shaded one.

Balhu, Jester and Mutley

This is the second portrait for the same client I created Polly’s portrait for. It is of three wheaten terriers called Balhu, Jester and Mutley. The client commissioned this portrait for her husband as a present for his 50th birthday in July. She contacted me a couple of months ago so I had plenty of time to complete this drawing. I worked on this portrait for two weeks, leaving the drawing a couple of times for a day. It gave the opportunity to see it with fresh eyes and recognize immediately areas that needed improvement. There was a lot of hair to tackle and it was important to look back at the portrait in whole and not get bogged down by detail too much.

three wheaten terriers drawing

The client was very happy with the finished portrait and thought I had captured each dog’s likeness and personality. The drawing was large in size, 30 x 60cm. I used graphite pencils by Staedtler and Faber-Castell on Fabriano 5 paper. I just love this paper, it can withstand a lot of layers which suits me really well. I am light handed and I work in many layers to create the dark areas of my drawings.

wheaten terrier portrait detail wheaten terrier portrait wheaten terrier drawing detail

I scanned the drawing when finished and mounted it in a mount. I hope you all like it.

Polly’s Portrait

This is a drawing I worked on a few weeks ago. It was one of two dog portraits for the same client from county Wicklow. Polly has sadly passed away a short time ago and her portrait is being given to her owner as a birthday present. The drawing was 20 x 25 cm in size and drawn with graphite pencils on paper. I worked from one reference photo which worked very well, so no adjustments were needed. I am including a scan of the drawing below together with the reference photo and an image of the finished drawing in a mount.

springer spaniel drawing
Polly the Springer Spaniel in pencil

I completed another portrait for the same client, of her three dogs, wheaten terriers. I will be posting an image of the finished drawing soon, so please check back for updates 🙂

Protrans Trucks Drawing

I completed this drawing one week ago after working on it for two weeks. It was a very different commission for me. I had never drawn trucks before… The drawing is 30 x 40 cm in size and features six trucks parked in an interesting pattern outside the Protrans offices. The drawing was commissioned by the company owners as a way of celebrating twenty years in business. I worked with Staedtler graphite pencils on Fabriano paper.

trucks drawing on paper pencil drawing six trucks detail

I have included a full scan of the drawing with a detailed image underneath. I took some photos of the drawing in progress which you can see in the gallery below. It also includes photos of the finished drawing in a mount.

Bran

This is the latest portrait to come off my easel. It is of Bran, the beautiful mixed collie shepherd dog. She was rescued by her family when 6 months old and stayed with them for 15 years. She was very special to them and so they commissioned Bran’s portrait with me as a keepsake.

pet portrait

They were very happy with the result and I was just honored to work on such a special portrait. The reference photos were excellent. They were taken outside on a lovely day. It is a beach setting, which is wonderful (I have a thing for beaches so I was very excited to work on this painting :)). We decided to choose a profile image of Bran. I think it really captured her good nature and gentle character.

dog painting detail

I suggested a wide landscape format, 40 x 20 cm in size. It captured just enough background without overpowering Bran in the centre of the composition. I worked in the detail in Bran’s fur with small brushes. It is a sunny scene, so the shadows are quite deep in tone. The basis of my palette were burnt umber, venetian red and yellow ochre. For contrast I used cerulean blue and ultramarine. It was important to capture the warmth of the sun in the image. I took some pictures of the finished canvas on the wall, together with some progress images as I was painting.

Monty and Chances – collie and labrador drawing

I completed this drawing in the last couple of days. It is of two lovely dogs called Monty and Chances – a black collie and a golden labrador. The portrait was commissioned as a 60th birthday present for the client’s friend. The drawing was drawn with graphite pencils on Fabriano 5 paper. I used Faber-Castell and Staedtler pencils 2B, 4B and 6B. The portrait is 20 x 40 cm in size which is a lovely wide landscape format.

collie and labrador drawing

I am also including some close-up images of each dog and reference photographs. The photos were a little blurred but I hope I still captured the likeness and essence of each dog.

The latest portrait

man portrait acrylic

This is the latest portrait to come off my easel. It is 35 x 45 cm in size and painted with acrylics on canvas. I worked on this one for a week. The photo didn’t offer a lot of detail, so I decided to loosen my style a little. For the background, I used a flat wash of a cool grey to compliment the skin tones.

reference photo