With Downton Abbey starting back up, I was prompted to introduce another recent pet portrait. This commission was actually for my mom who wanted her to English Springer Spaniels to be painted for her home. This breed is a traditional English hunting dog and I could just picture Lord Granthom out on the hunt, with maybe their distant cousins. As for this pair of cute sappy hounds, Daisy at 13 years old and Bailey at 11, the only hunting they’re good for is scraps under the table and the warmest seat.
I talked with her about what type of portrait she wanted and agreed we’d need a photo session with the dogs in order to produce the piece. I went over to her house to photograph the dogs earlier this fall when the weather was still warm and the yard looked nice. She preferred the dogs seated together in a more traditional pose on the terrace overlooking the yard. It took a while (and a number of cookies) to get the pictures she wanted but in the end I got some nice shots to work with. The final layout is actually a two photos I spliced together in photoshop in order to take advantage of the best of both frames.
Daisy, on the right, is the older pup at 13. She’s deaf as a post and moving a bit slower but still so sweet. Bailey, on the left, is Daisy’s neice and at 11 she’s still active enough, but she has some cataract issues which I had to be careful of in the photos as the haze showed in some shots.
The final piece took a little longer to get to as I had some other commissions to get to before, but I knew I had till Christmas so in the end I had plenty of time to get it finalized. It also had a full landscape background so was a bit more involved than some portraits. It was worth it though, I was very happy with how it came out and more importantly, Mom was thrilled!
These pups are pretty sitters, eh? I wanted the color palette to feel fresh while the pose traditional. The finished canvas is 20×24″ acrylic on canvas. It’s currently off to the framer, but when it’s finalized I’ll post a photo!
Happy Weekend! Downton episode 2 is on Sunday!