The Portrait of Duffy was a new challenge. Never had done a painted portrait with acrylic paints. That’s okay. Experiments, learning curves, and self doubt are all good for something. The portraits are based on photos that me or other people take of the subjects. Duffy’s body looks completely foreshortened. My friend Alan, who was also a painter, encouraged me throughout the process.
Duffy is a Newfoundland cross with a Cocker Spaniel, so I was told. He has the bigger foofy head with droopy eyes and a smaller body. Lots of fur to trim. His body is trimmed in this picture, which exaggerates the foreshortening. Also, I cut off the feet to emphasize his expression. I have never met him, but he has a striking expression.
This could be called the Blue Dog, maybe. I don’t know. I started with purple underlay and switched to the blue accents. That’s easily done with acrylic paint.
On to the next portrait of a German Shepherd Dog that will be a pastel. Soft chalks and pastel pencil have a more familiar feel. But I totally enjoyed doing this portrait.
Samson was a “Great Horse” or a large draft horse – a dappled Percheron. It is a very small 5″X 7″ colored pencil portrait on Bristol paper. Bristol Paper has a smooth surface that makes getting the details of Samson’s dappled color much easier.
I first met Samson when a friend and I took her daughter out to Windy Ridge Riding Stables to inquire about lessons. He was one of the few horses in the large coral area. He sauntered up to us like a friendly inspector as we were trying to get through a gate. He was enormous! My friend said, “Catherine, what do I do?” as she had her daughter in her arms.
“Be calm. He won’t hurt you.” Draft horses are generally pretty gentle with kids. And as time proved, in many later encounters, that he was a truly big, gentle guy.
This portrait was purchased by Mark Ward, the owner of the horse riding stable where I took riding lessons. He had Samson from a “baby”. Sadly Samson passed away not long after I made this portrait.
The King Charles Spaniel is a digitally redone photo portrait, which I captured at a dog show last year. This effect give the look of a black and white block print.
The cat portraits are also digitally enhanced photos.
The British Short Hair Cat belonged to my gracious niece, Sabina, who has helped me with my online venture to share my work. His name was Toenje. A most interesting and aloof creature, who charmed me from the moment we met. He has passed over the Rainbow Bridge.
More recently, I have taken to using digital photos for my drawings and paintings.