MAVERICK'S PET PORTRAIT - THANK YOU!
Pet Portrait of Maverick the Pointer
Maverick is a much loved family pet and his portrait commission was to be a special gift from a wife to her husband for Valentines' Day. As these clients live relatively close to me in York I was fortunate to be invited to meet Maverick before creating his portrait which is always very exciting as you can really get a better understanding of the pet's personality. Nothing quite prepared me for this encounter as this is one HUGE dog and his owner Sharon, explained that he's a big guy that thinks he's much smaller than he is, in light of this, she warned me that Maverick will try to 'hug' me when I sit down. Sure enough, when I sat on the armchair Maverick came over and gently but firmly pinned me down by my shoulders before resting his head next to mine! I've had many dogs over the years but have never experienced anything quite like that before, such a gentle giant for sure.
In trying to capture the essence of Maverick's personality, it was important to show him looking both playful and 'grand' at the same time. I was also keen to show how silky and fluffy his beautiful coat is and felt that the best medium to show this was by using pastels due to their velvety smooth texture and ease of application. For the background, I wanted a colour that would compliment the many shades that I used to create the effect of white fur and the lovely warm blue really lifted these hues nicely, this blue was also seen in various places throughout the house so I knew that my client would like this particular shade. One thing that was important in the brief was to show Maverick's distinctive orange collar which also stands out nicely against the lovely blue background.
The selected pose was taken from a variety of photographs that were supplied by Sharon. It's always really useful to have a handful of different images to use as a reference as the lighting for each one may vary and its essential to get the right shades in the coloured areas such as the eyes and ears. Maverick has some fabulous freckles on his face and head so it was also important to get these markings as accurate as possible.
When I sent a picture of the draft copy to my Sharon she called me immediately to tell me that she was delighted with it and was so excited to gift it to her husband, she was sitting with her daughter at the time and they both absolutely loved it.
It was ever so special as we worked together with our local framer Mandy from Framable in Tockwith to get Maverick's portrait framed just in time for Valentine's Day. Mandy had several ideas for frame designs and after seeing all of them via text messages, Sharon chose this thick gunmetal frame with a warm-white mount and professional 'Ultra' art glass for that extra clarity and wow factor!
Sharon's husband Nige loved his surprise present and was deeply moved to receive it, there is something so special about receiving a gift that has been months in the planning and the making and involving several people. Even the simplest things like letting your children in on the surprise adds to the great reveal moment at the end, and there is almost always tears of joy from the recipient who is deeply touched by the love around them.
I am always in awe of Mandy who makes the most beautiful frames for clients all over the world and for some of the most high-profile artists (think Banksy), she certainly pulled out all of the stops for this portrait to make sure that it was absolutely perfect in time for the big day! As you can see from the picture below, the blue background perfectly matches the colour on the walls of my client's house and the gun metal complements the blue perfectly.
So this year, my second thought of 'gratitude' goes to Sharon and Nige Hunter for entrusting me to create their beautiful dog's portrait and also to Mandy for the magnificent frame as always. Thank you! x
Framed photo of Maverick in situ kindly sent by my clients which they described as looking 'absolutely stunning their wall'!