Thursday, 23 September 2010

Boxer portrait and a little tuition

Boxer - Charleigh Bear - 20" x 16" oil on canvas

I was approached by Charleigh's owner, Louise Hitchen, shortly after CB's tragic loss giving birth to a litter of puppies.  Unsurprisingly Louise was in a terrible state having lost her 'baby' and wanted a fitting tribute to her lovely girl. 

I think it goes without saying that as an artist in this situation, the responsibility to create an accurate memorial, both in physical appearance and in character, weighs heavily.

Louise supplied me with a lovely, professionally taken photograph as shown below:

You will notice that I have changed the reflections in her eyes quite considerably which may surprise some. The reason for this is that although it looks very appealing in the photograph, when put into painting form, if I had kept them as they are shown here, they would have appeared lifeless - you can't always paint exactly what you see in a photo.

Here is the first WIP

As CB was a brindle, the painting in of the black hairs takes a long time to prevent them just looked 'daubed' on. 

The second and final WIP is shown below:

You can see one side of the face is finished here and the other side is at the 'undercoat' stage. I  fractionally altered the amount of visible 'third eyelid' in her right (as you look at it) eye and decided to leave out her back as I didn't feel it added anything to the painting and drew attention away from her eyes. 

I am of course delighted that Louise is thrilled with Charleigh's portrait  (despite it causing a few tears) and also pleased to report that because of the dedicated hand-rearing and wonderful care given by Louise,  the whole of CB's litter survived and have grown into strong, healthy puppies all now in their new homes. All except for two that is - they have been kept to become Louise's very own loved and spoilt babies.

If you would like to commission a painting of your own pet, please email me at or click on the 'shop' button in the menu above and go to the 'commissioning a painting' page.

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