I recently completed this commission of Dougal. Pet portraits are my most requested subject, and Dougal's portrait was ordered from a returning customer as a birthday gift to a family member.
The reference image used for this drawing was a great composition, but the detail and colour, was unfortunately lacking. Extra photos of Dougal were provided, which allowed me to gather additional detail. The leash was removed from the drawing, as this added nothing to his portrait.
Living in Northumberland, the Labrador is a very popular dog breed here and having two Labradors myself, we often encounter Red fox Labradors and their owners, which allowed me to study their natural colour as we passed. I always try to balance out the values in each portrait, which means I will correct the colour tones, especially so when the colours in the photograph are washed out or under-exposed. I also spend time researching online, collecting photos of other Red Fox Labradors which act as a guide too.
If you are thinking about booking a commission of your own pet, get in touch. If you want to find out more about my commissions first, you can click one of the tabs below and read about the process or view my art gallery. I work in coloured pencils and acrylic paints, both offer very different outcomes, but are highly detailed.
The latest commission on the easel is this stunning Red Fox Labrador called Dougal.
For this 10" x 12" drawing of Dougal, I am using the lightfast coloured pencils, Caran d'Ache Luminance on Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper.
I create my drawings using a layering process, which help to create the depth and realism that can be seen in all my work. This process starts from the lighter tones and builds up to heavy and bold applications. The realism is created at the end, when I use both light and dark tones to manipulate the layers and create the final pieces you see within the pages of my website.
Creating a drawing like this can take many hours and to ensure I stay fully focused on each piece, I work on other drawings and paintings in between sessions. The length of time it takes to create a portrait depends entirely on the complexity of the composition, but a 4 - 6 week timescale is normal, unless a specific timeframe is requested.
This is the current stage of Dougal's portrait. There is still much to do on the colouration, but you can see how soft his fur now looks from the first post above, after numerous layers have been applied. You can view Dougal's progress page HERE.
I also completed a portrait of a Red Fox Labrador last year. This is Rua, who is Dougal's sister. You can view her portrait HERE.
If you are looking to commission your own portrait, visit one of the galleries below to find out more about each medium.
Karen M Berisford
- Acrylic paintings
- Coloured pencil portraits
Videos from the studio - art in progress
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