Saturday, October 14, 2017

Duke and Sophie

My client, Meg commissioned me to do a colored pencil portrait as an early Christmas gift for her husband, Greg. They gave me lots of excellent reference photos of their two rescue dogs, Duke and Sophie. Duke is a gentle Golden Retriever, and Sophie is a mixed breed terrier. They are best of friends, and apparently Duke is very protective of his little Sophie. What a lucky girl she is to have such a devoted big brother! 

"Duke and Sophie" - colored pencil, 14 x 11

I was asked to combine the two dogs into one portrait, using the two separate reference photos shown below. With such beautiful photos, working on this portrait was a real delight!

Reference photo of Duke

Reference photo of Sophie

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I was commissioned to create two portraits of an adorable Dachshund named Salty. Below is Salty's first portrait which measures 5 x 7 along with the reference photo. As you can see, Salty's reference photo was nice and close, clear and with good contrast. As I do with many of my portraits, I eliminated the background in the photo and added a nice, neutral background.

"Salty" - graphite pencil, 5 x 7


Here is Salty's second portrait of him kissing a little girl. From the reference photo, it looks like he had been in a dog show and did very well, so a nice congratulatory kiss was in order! I cropped the reference photo close and once again eliminated the background clutter as well as the bandanna around Salty's neck.

"A Kiss from Salty" - graphite pencil, 8 x 10


I'm happy to report that Salty's grandma, who commissioned the portraits, was very pleased with the results, and so was I!

Monday, January 30, 2017


Teo is a Portuguese Water Dog and his portrait was commissioned as a gift for Teo's owner. Teo apparently has lots of personality, so getting one clear shot of him was a challenge for my client. His right eye is perpetually covered by hair, so finding that eye to put in his portrait was also a challenge!

"Teo" - Graphite pencil, 8" x 10"

To keep him from looking like a one-eyed dog, it was important to show some of his eye while retaining his "signature" look. Creating Teo's portrait was a bit of a challenge, but I feel happy to have achieved my goal! As no two pets are alike, no two portraits are alike. Creating a pet's unique portrait is always a challenge, but always a joy! 

Teo's reference photo

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Two Portraits of Boo

Last Christmas, I was commissioned to create a portrait for a friend of mine who had just lost her beloved kitty, Boo. I was presented with such a wonderful collection of reference photos, that it was difficult at first to choose which one to use. I ended up making two separate portraits, one in graphite, and the other in pastel.

"Boo", graphite pencil, 10 x 8

Here below is the wonderful reference photo I used for Boo's graphite portrait. I zoomed in on his face for his portrait, as you can see.

photo by Rachel Walker

Next, I created a color portrait of Boo in Pan Pastel. The photo reference of Boo for this portrait was of significant importance to Boo's mom, so I was delighted to be able to give her two totally different portraits to remember her beloved Boo by. 

"Boo Sleeping", Pan Pastel, 10 x 8

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Dana, Avery and Ryder

Having been a "Goldie mom" for close to 15 years, Goldens are, of course, very dear to my heart. I've recently had the opportunity to draw a portrait of "Dana", pictured directly below. Dana's mom, who lives in Massachusetts, commissioned me to create Dana's portrait. I loved the reference photo which showed Dana looking up intently, with bright, sparkly eyes. 

12 x 12, colored pencil

Reference photo of Dana

Another commissioned portrait was of a Golden Retriever named Avery...

and his doggy brother, Ryder, a Clumber Spaniel.


 Avery and Ryder's mom wanted a portrait of the two of them together...

Avery and Ryder
14 x 11, colored pencil on paper

and here's a detail of each of them from the large portrait...

detail of Ryder

detail of Avery
It's always a joy and privilege for me to create portraits for clients of their beloved pets, and to capture the unique personalities of each one.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Portrait of "Rags"

I was recently commissioned to create a portrait of this beautiful and noble looking Collie named Ragnar, "Rags" for short. His family, who live in England, sorely miss this dear old friend who passed away last year at the age of 15.

The portrait of Rags was created with graphite pencil on Stonehenge paper and measures 10" x 8". The photo below was the one reference photo I had of Rags. As you can see, there are lots of trees in the background, so I eliminated those to focus on Rags himself. His family just received his portrait and I'm happy to hear that they were surprised and delighted with the gift of this portrait of their cherished pet and friend.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Do you remember Dickens, the cute, little Havanese? Well, meet his cousin, Stanley! He is also a Havanese and quite an adorable one at that. Stanley's portrait is rendered in graphite pencil on Stonehenge paper and measures 10" x 8".

Stanley's mom provided some great snapshots of him that she took herself. I liked this view of Stanley best because not only was the lighting good, but I love the way he's looking up and how his eyes sparkle. Eyes are always the most important feature for me in a pet portrait, so when I can bring out the pet's personality in it's eyes, I'm happy!

Below is the reference photo of Stanley that I used. I chose to leave out his collar and the rest of him so that his head, and his eyes, are the main focus.

 I had such a fun time creating Stanley's portrait. I'd love to create a special pet portrait for you! The Holidays are rapidly approaching, so now is the time to place your order. Please contact me if you have any questions or to order your portrait. Hope to hear from you soon!