This blog is primarily a tool to enable me to record my learning process as I progress through my university course. One aspect of that, for me. Has been to take on design work outside of work parameters in order to improve my skills.
Over the past months I have been working to build a pet portraiture business in order to help pay my way while I study. Although it does not strictly come udner the rubric of Graphic Design, it has always been a hobby.
Illustration has allowed me to visualise work before attempting to recreate it digitally. I’ve never posted about my portraiture work before. But I feel it is relevant to my practice, so why not?
I was commissioned to draw a Weimeraner called ‘Blue Bell’ as a Christmas gift for a client. I was given free reign to select my favourite image from a great number.
This was my favourite image. I like to capture dogs looking composed and relaxed. I also was happy with the lighting, it is natural and comes from one distinct source.
I always work entirely free-hand, I find that although it is never truly faithful tot he image, I manage to capture the likeness of the subject and add my own twist. Who wants a photorealistic portrait agent hey already have the photo?
Once the basic shape is refined to my liking I begin to add the darkest shadows first.
I begin building layers of shade and texture into the picture, I do patches alla cross the body instead of completing it section by section to ensure I don’t have disparity in contrast or shading.
I continue to add further detail,each breed is different, some longer rhaired dogs require a lot of detailing in the fur as it has irregularities. But Blue Bell is beige and short haired which made things easier.
Each portrait takes several hours, start to finish, but I always enjoy the process. I think people interpret so much expression is dogs faces, so capturing that is very important.