Aug 29, 2006

Paddy (Newfoundland Dog) Stage 2

Here is Paddy's portrait so far. As you can see, I'm darkening the shading, and filling in the lighter areas. I'm guessing I've probably put in about 4-5 hrs already. Hopefully I'll be finished in another week or two.

So far I'm getting lots of good feedback from my website. I still have a few minor changes to make in the layout, but all in all, I think it turned out really well. Paul is responsible for making the website for me and I think he did a wonderful job. Thanks!! (It was my birthday present).

I've already had an order for some greeting cards. The client that I did Sadie (Golden Retriever) for wants to buy some. I ordered a stamp today that will have my website and my name on it. I'll use it to stamp the backs of my greeting cards and my prints. I also will sign my prints so you know they are authentic.

Have a great day! I'm off to the gym now.

Aug 28, 2006

My Website and Updated Waiting List

We finished my website last night and I invite you to check it out. It's at If you have any questions or comments please comment on this site, or email me at

I took on another order today to do a portrait of a cat named Shamus. So the waiting list goes as follows:

1. Paddy (8x10) - Newfoundland - in progress
2. Ghira (11x14) - Chocolate Lab
3. Mercedes (Sadie) (8x10) - Standard Poodle
4. Shamus (8x10) - Black and white cat

This brings me to somewhere around/after Christmas time. It's hard to say exactly when I will complete each of these portraits. Things tend to come up that set me back a bit, and having a full time job is time-consuming as well! The first 3 portraits will be finished before Christmas though and the 4th, sometime after.

I have done some more work on Paddy, and I will try and post a scan of him tomorrow.

Aug 23, 2006

Paddy (Newfoundland Dog) Stage 1

Here is the first stage of Paddy's drawing. So far I've drawn in the general outline, and I've started shading in the really dark areas of his fur. I like to do the dark areas first, and at the beginning of my drawings, there is a lot of contrast between the light and dark areas. This way, I am able to see the different tones easier. As I progress further into the drawing, I balance the different tones out, and make the dark areas darker.

In the final drawing I like to exagerate the lights and darks a bit more than they are in the actual photo. I find this makes the drawing pop a bit more and makes it more interesting. If you draw the tones exactly as they are in the photo, it tends to make it a bit boring, especially when the animal is one colour, and you can hardly see the different shades. With Paddy, since he is black, I really have to look closely to see the different shades of grey.

Aug 21, 2006


I have been a member of a pet portraits forum for a little while now, and I just joined another one today for pencil artists I have discovered that there is a wealth of knowledge in forums like these for new artists like me. I am in the process of getting my website set up and there is a lot of research to do, and I have found so much useful information from fellow artists who use these forums. Everyone is so friendly, supportive and helpful, and it's nice to be part of an artist's community.

Although I have been drawing most of my life, I feel that I should continue growing in my work, and I strive to make each drawing better than the last. These forums have provided me with so many useful tips, and have gotten me even more excited about what I do. I am also looking forward to trying out oils soon, and perfecting my pastel and coloured pencil drawing techniques.

So lately, I have been spending so much time looking through these forums, setting up my new blog, and working/researching my website, that I feel like I have been stuck to this computer for the past couple of days. It's so addictive, I can't seem to pull myself away!

Aug 20, 2006

Nelly Aug 2006

This is Nelly, a golden retriever, and I just finished her for a client last week. She took me about 9-10 hrs to draw. I really loved doing Nelly's portrait because she seems like such a happy dog.
Nelly was done in graphite pencil on 8x10 paper.

Charcoal sketch

I've been frequenting a forum lately that is for artists who do pet portraits. Every once in a while a photo is posted as an art challenge, and if you wish, you can post your drawing or painting based on the photo. Recently they posted a really cute photo of a foal. I loved the picture so I decided to try it out. I have some willow charcoal sticks that my sister recently gave me, and some new Nupastels in various shades of grey. My sketch is done on Strathmore smooth bristol, so the drawing is very smooth. Like I said, it's a relatively quick sketch (about 2hrs of work, compared to about 10hrs if I had done it really well in pencil), and I didn't worry too much about the proportions.
It's for sale if anyone wants to buy it!

Waiting list for August

The following waiting list is numbered in the order that I will be working, 1 being the first in line.

1. Nelly-Golden retriever-completed
2. Paddy-Newfoundland-started
3. Ghira-chocolate lab
4. Sadie (Mercedes)-standard poodle

I have guaranteed that these four portraits will be completed for Christmas, and I am not taking any more orders for Christmas. If you are interested in giving a portrait as a Christmas gift, I can give you a gift voucher. Please feel free to email me at

My new blog - Read this if you are commissioning a pet portrait

Welcome! I've decided to start a blog that will be linked to my new website, . It's not up and running yet, but hopefully soon.

I have a few reasons for starting this blog:
I thought it would be a good place to post my pet portraits in the different stages before completion. As the owner of the portrait, you can keep checking this site to see how your commissioned portrait is progressing, and if you have any problems, you can let me know before it is actually finished.

I will post my waiting list for commissioned pet portraits here also. So if you've ordered a portrait, you will know exactly where you are on the waiting list.

And, I just wanted to have a place where I could write my thoughts and where you can learn a little bit more about the person who is doing your pet portrait.

I will do my best at keeping my blog up-to-date. I hope you enjoy it!