This lovely pair of Border Collies are the last portraits for 2017.
Just back from the framers, these guys are heading north to Queensland in time for Christmas.
My Ink & Wash drawings make a perfect gift for any animal lover – an original work of art
in ink/watercolour, archival, framed ready to hang…  and not too big (or too small) and they look great
with any decor. And very special because your pet will stay with you for always.
Better still, agreed, done and delivered in under 3 weeks. Contact me for more info.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visiting a friend’s property outside Gunning in NSW last weekend, we saw this guy with a few of his (brown) mates.
Lucky I had my camera (complete with 300mm lens) at the ready! He was kind enough to stop and
pose for the camera as well. Our friend said a white kangaroo is quite rare, so I feel very lucky, this one was a beauty!

I did a little search, and thanks to the ABC NEWS, I found some interesting info. I’m secretly chuffed to say…
my photo is better than the one in the story!
“According to mammologist Mark Eldridge, principal research scientist at the Australian Museum, white or albino kangaroos
occur once every 50,000 to 100,000 animals. He said the fact that the image was captured in the wild made it even more unique.”
It’s worth reading the rest of this interesting story HERE

 

The best pictures for a portrait – either in oil or ink – are where the subject
is as close as possible to eye level with the camera, mainly because looking down
on a pet can really make the body look deformed (and rather unattractive).
Here are a few additional things to consider when choosing/taking your pictures:

1- We like their eyes to be open (and alert).
(Sleeping animals are cute in pictures but not the best reference.
2- It’s best to have whole faces (ears & noses) in the picture.
3- Close to the camera is good BUT if they are running towards the camera
and they get too close, they will look distorted.
4- If we are painting a whole pet, then all paws and tails should be in the picture as well.
5- The picture must be IN FOCUS & at least 1MB in size.
6- The best lighting is outside – in natural daylight, on an overcast day with diffused light. NO FLASH!

These things are are not always possible, I know, but if you can achieve a few of them,
you will be well on the way to getting a great painting. Happy photographing/photo searching!

 

Fin4 Horses: Obsession, Satin's Imp, Felicity, Jamie. Oil. 30x66cm. 2017

I have been asked if I painted horses quite a few times (also rabbits, fish, and even snakes).
I have always declined because I was thinking you need to be very sure of the muscular skeletal structure of the animal.
But really they are all the same, except the shapes change! So curiosity got the better of me, and I was ready
to take the challenge. No problem. The most complicated thing (for me) was to put together a group of animals
that were different sizes, ages and kept in different paddocks. You could not see them all together. Also with the varied
locations the lighting direction also varies. The biggest challenge was to make them appear natural as a group.
So now… yes I paint horses. And other animals too, so if you have an unusual pet, I am the portrait artist for you!
Prices and timing remain in keeping with dogs and cats, but the proportions may create slight variations.
Contact me to chat about the options and a firm quote.

If you are thinking about commissioning a pet portrait – it can be very confusing.
There’s a bit of money involved, so where do you start?

You will have an idea of how much you want to spend, then I recommend you find or take the best pictures you can. With a real camera if possible (phone pictures are often not very sharp!).

Choose the ones you like the best, a few of them (say 3 or 4). Ones that look good, and show what your pet is typically like. The look at the images again – if they are really sharp, go for a painting if you can, it can be kept for gererations, a lovely thing to have. If your images are not the clearest (or are old because the pet had passed away), then probably you will need an ink drawing.  Click on this one on the left, It’s a great example of what I mean, a lovely picture but too small and unsharp for me to see the detail well enough for a painting.

I will not proceed with a painting if the pictures are not clear enough because you will be disappointed, and I will not be happy with the work.
I have never had a rejection (yet!), so I don’t want to start now. And I want you to love your art as much I loved painting it.

The holidays are over and it’s back to work!
I have 3 dogs on the go – already, and some new animals coming up soon
(something different!).  So, it looks like it might be a busy year. I hope so.
Every pet deserves a portrait!

Oh… and there will be a new completely range of paintings coming
later in the year as well. And a new website. Exciting times. Stay tuned…

It’s been a great year for us at PaintedPets Contemporary Animal Portraits!
It’s actually been our best year ever – so much so that we have been able
to “give back” by donating to a range of amazing no-kill groups that look after,
rehome and support abandoned, homeless and unwanted animals (who could not want animals in their lives?!).  So, thank you all so much for supporting us
during 2016 –we would not be here without you.
Best wishes to you all for a wonderful 2017.

We have some great (new) ideas for 2017 too, so come back here
and find out more in the New Year!

We were invited to Cat Protection on Saturday for their open day.
So many gorgeous cats are looking for new homes, so it’s worth a visit
if you are looking for a furry lifetime companion!

It was a great day, a colouring competion for kids, a raffle (with great prizes!),
and some professionals working with cats gave informative talks on cat behaviour,
health and general tips on having fun with and looking after kitties. For the occasion,
I painted a portrait of the handsome “Tiger” who was adopted just a few days before
the open day, lucky boy! Lucky humans, to share their home with such a lovely cat.

Dark coloured fur is always challenging.
For me it’s a fine line between the actual colour of your pet
and what makes a nice work of art. Too dark, you don’t see the pet.
Too light, it doesn’t look right somehow.

The picture here shows you what I mean (click on the image for a larger view).
The reference picture I used is on the left.
She is a pretty little French Bulldog, but very dark. She’s actually a rich chocolate and black mix (brindle).
This portrait was created in ink & wash. The middle image is the first one I did, but as the ink dried I felt it was too light –
most clients want the portrait to look like their pet. So, I did it again (right image). This is closer to the picture but
I still kept it lighter so you can see the detail in her face and her eyes (artistic license!). But, as always, the quality of your
finished portrait depends heavily on the quality (think sharpness and detail) of your original image.

When commissioning a portrait of a pet – you really want to know
what you are going to get, before you actually commit. Don’t you?

You know your pet. You have decided on a budget. So where do you go from there?
Well, I like to see as many pictures of your pet as possible (because I don’t know him/her). A good range of images tell me many things about your pet’s personality which is a great asset for the painting. Sometimes the final work is a combination of a few images (ear position, eyes, paws, “smiles” can all be controlled and highlighted in a painting, the big advantage over a photograph!).

You are shown a range of layouts (usually 2-4) to consider. Some could be sketches,
like this one, or some just cropped images you have supplied (it depends on the pictures). You may really want something that just will not work, so I’ll talk you out of it, because I know the final result will be disappointing – and that’s bad for my reputation and your wallet! We talk through everything so you know exactly what you will get before we start. Simple really. And very exciting!