Tuesday, March 07, 2006


It is Juno's big day at Crufts on Thursday and we are in the middle of preparing him to look his best. This is how Juno views the proceedings.

I have a methodical method of getting him ready. First he has his bath, then I trim his hocks, then starting at his tail I brush all his fur the wrong way, then again starting again at his tail I brush it all into place.

Thing about preparation, made me realise that I work my dog and cat portraits in the same methodical way.
I start with the eyes and work outwards till I come to an area I don't understand at that time. I then find an area I do understand and work outwards from that, and so on, until the whole thing fits together.
As an example here's where I'm up to with the graphite Elkhound I'm working on.
I started with the eyes, because if they aren't right I don't carry on, they are the most important part of an animal portrait to me. I then couldn't quite work out the fur direction on the muzzle, so I worked the nose and now I can see how it will all fit together.
I have also left finishing the ear until I can better judge the light tones.
I also bring each area more or less to completion before I move on to the next.
I would be interested to know how other artists deal with pet portraits.

And as for Juno, well I hope he looks a little bit more lively in the ring.

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