My dog had been hounding me to do her portrait. No, she hadn’t approached me directly. That definitely would’ve been beneath her station. She did what pets always do. She sent her dad for the negotiations.
Here’s the result:
You can see the details in the following picture.
Portrait of Oorvi – A Custom Commission
If you are wondering what she actually looks like, here’s the picture and artwork once again.
In the reference photograph, she is sitting in front of the Adenium plant. As this was a facial portrait I focused on her face, especially her eyes and her ears, which I think are her most beautiful features. Oorvi is exceptionally short-haired (her coat is similar to a Yellow Lab, except that her color is more towards tan.) this of course, required that I detailed the fur a lot more to bring out the lights and the shadows.
There’s an itsy-bitsy shadow of the Adenium’s stem, that falls on her neck. I had to remove it, because to keep the focus entirely on her face, there’s no plant in the final artwork, and orphan shadow would’ve destroyed the sanctity of the portrait.
This is a Pen and Ink portrait and this technique requires that every pen-stroke falls in its right place. As I’ve been doing pen and ink illustrations for about two decades now, it comes quite naturally to me, but a close-up portrait where every little hair has to align in a particular direction requires some patience too 🙂
Another bit that differentiates pet-portraiture from the other black and white animal and wildlife illustrations that I do for magazines, is the need of a pet portrait to belong. This is one of the reasons why I am not a fan of abstract treatment of portraits. A portrait of your family member must look like him or her – and not like any other person, pup, or kitten. It’s important for me that my Oorvi looks like my Oorvi, and that her eyes in her portrait look at me in the exact same way that she look at me.
I also added a bit of myself there – in form of what you could call an Artist Statement. Nature’s living-breathing-moving forms have made me an artist – and this is a short tribute to all of them.
That’s all for now. I’ll soon return with another portrait…or animal story 🙂