More pet portraits



After finishing the Nashville corner, I decided to make a few more pet portraits. I had a head shot of my sister’s collie and a nice picture of my sweet Lady in mind and over the course of two days I did them both.  Brandy, the collie, was a dark mahogany sable that belonged to my sister’s family.  It was hard to decide how much of her thick coat to show.  Too little would not give her enough definition, but to much ink would change her into a tricolor.  I probably should have used a bit more of a reddish brown, but I like it.  Her fur seemed to be black tipped which allowed use of the grey.  I think I need to work on the whiskers a bit for the future.  They are really hard to do realistically, especially with the nib pen which likes to skip on long strokes.

My sweet Lady

My sweet Lady

After the inquiry for a horse portrait in my etsy shop, I figured I better try one.  I had this picture of my sweet Lady in her later years.  She was mid to late twenties when I took this photo and starting to look her age.  It was late summer and some of the hair on her face was gone due to the fly ointment I used under her eyes.  I had some dilemma with her too on the amount of mane hair to include.  I didn’t want her to look as though she had a black mane as she was a glorious chestnut with the world’s most beautiful mane and tail.  I am not totally happy with her eye, but my daughter thought it was a very good likeness and that she would have known it was her even without the reference photo.  For my posts on Lady’s life and death, go to the following links.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DixCutler
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 13:49:23

    Very nice work. Love the portrait of Lady. I remember her story well.


  2. ruthsartwork
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 14:03:38

    Thanks, Dix. She was a kind and generous horse and I miss her still.


  3. Cindy D.
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 14:04:52

    Both terrific! I think both are beautiful animals. The collie is just right. You say you struggled with how much mane to include on Lady but maybe a little more definition in it? I wish I could do horses better but unfortunately I am not sure how to go about defining a light mane. 🙂


    • ruthsartwork
      Oct 27, 2013 @ 14:11:24

      I think more hair is harder than less. I don’t want to turn it black with the ink strokes. In some way crabby cat’s short fur was easier than the longer collie and mane hair. I could just suggest her coat with a few pen strokes and let the color do the rest. I guess I just have to keep plugging away and practicing until I feel more comfortable about the whole thing.


  4. lesliepaints
    Oct 28, 2013 @ 23:12:26

    These are both gorgeous, Ruth! You are getting so good on these animal portraits. A rigger brush works nicely for whiskers Find the smallest you can find and practice drawing the brush across the paper at about a 20 degree angle. It is ok if it skips across a little. The naked eye does not see every single centimeter of a whisker as the light breaks it up a bit. You captured the light on your Lady’s face. Exquisite portrait of an aged horse.


    • ruthsartwork
      Oct 29, 2013 @ 08:50:28

      Thanks, Leslie. I will definitely get that brush and practice with it. Whiskers have always bedeviled me. My daughter liked Lady’s portrait too. She is a real critic and will definitely tell me if she sees something wrong. LOL


  5. Gray Dawster
    Nov 11, 2013 @ 05:44:33

    These portraits are excellent 🙂



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: