Drawing a Pet Portrait

Friday, November 27, 2009

Today I would like to tell you about my last assignment which evoked sad feelings in my heart. A woman from the USA wanted to make a gift to her husband whose beloved dog had recently died. The woman wanted me to make a portrait of her husband with his favorite pet. The dog had been their family’s faithful friend for some 8 years. It’s better to say this animal was a part of the family. I lost my dog too not so much time ago and I realize all that bitterness the guy and his family feel.

I googled for statistics regarding children who have pets to find out that kids taking care of animals are more self-reliant, more sociable, less selfish and they are happier and healthier in comparison to those children who aren’t that lucky to have pets in their homes. Isn’t it amazing how God has created a human being? We feel happy when we have someone to care about and love. We love our pets and our hearts get filled with the most useful feeling which actually makes us humans. Pets are sometimes our most faithful and sincere friends. Have you ever seen how a dog rejoices when its master pats it and rubs behind its ear? A pet needs only a little attention to be happy and it responds with true faith and love. The Bible says that God has entrusted animals into human’s care and having pets in our homes is like making a little contribution into God’s will execution. It’s a tragedy when your pet dies. But we ought to always remember that little creature which gives us all it has for that little attention we can offer.

Well, let’s leave alone these sad thoughts and return to this pet portrait assignment of mine. The woman who wanted this original gift for her husband did not happen to have a picture of her husband with the dog appropriate for drawing a portrait. All she could offer was two separate photos of the man and the dog. But it was enough for me to draw a pet portrait the client was absolutely happy with. So these are those pictures I received (I reduced their resolution):

I am not going to just show you the final pet portrait at once. Many people ask me about how to draw a portrait from a photo and I want to provide a little description of this pet portrait drawing stages.

Pet Portrait Drawing Stage 1

Setting outlines and building the portrait composition on the A3 sheet with 1х1 cm. (0.4 x 0.4 in.) grid (used drawing tool: 5Н pencil).

pet portrait drawing, stage 1

Pet Portrait Drawing Stage 2

Preliminary application of tones and halftones by means of cross-hatching (yes, this is my favorite technique for portrait drawing). Since I had little time to accomplish the portrait I did not use layer by layer tone enhancement as I usually do (used drawing tool: 2Н pencil).

pet portrait drawing, stage 2

Pet Portrait Drawing Stage 3

Further tones putting all over the portrait with setting off the image details. Creating background.

dog portrait drawing, stage 3

Pet Portrait Drawing Stage 4

The last stage. Enhancement of tones and halftones, emphasizing the main details with simultaneous softening of the minor elements. Special attention to eyes drawing and elaboration of the traits and face features which reveal resemblance to the models on the supplied original photos (used drawing tool: 2B pencil).

dog portrait final stage, cross-hatching

I hope you like this portrait and I would appreciate your comments here.



Igor November 28, 2009 at 8:18 AM  

Thanks, Diana! I always appreciate your opinion.

caba October 8, 2010 at 8:13 AM  

very nice drawing,beautiful.....

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