• Amy Elizabeth Fine Art

Itailian Spinone Portrait-Creating The Portraits of Two Spinone Italiano's

Yesterday, I went round to take photos for two pet portraits that have been commissioned. I lived close by so it was easy to take the photos myself! I am yet to start their portraits but thought it would be good to document the process. Check back to see their finished portraits!


Italian Spinone Portrait - About the breed


Here is what the Kennel Club have to say about the breed. "The Italian Spinone is hugely popular in his native country as an all-purpose gundog, his strong head with an almost human expression, his unique top-line and his thick skin and coarse coat making him instantly recognisable. It is thought that his ancestry contains Italian Hound with perhaps some coarse-haired Segugio blood and perhaps Setter or Mastiff input."


Italian Spinone Portrait - The importance of photos


I always bang on about the importance of having a great photo for your pet portrait commission and having a lovely photo for me to work from really does show in the final result. Not only does the pose matter, as that is the pose that your dog will be in, but also the level of detail that is visible in the photo is hugely important. I create detailed pet portraits, so therefore the photo needs to be detailed.


The owners of these two lovely Italian Spinones wanted separate portraits of each dog. When commissioning portraits of multiple dogs, there are more things to think about than if you are just wanting a pet portrait of a single dog, whether it is an Italian Spinone, or any other breed. Aspects such as whether you want the dogs on one page or separate individual portraits may be down to personal choice, or down to the photos you have. Some photos do not work together for portraits on the same page.


I was shown a portrait they had commissioned of a previous dog and some photos they had of their current dogs that they liked but were not clear enough for a pet portrait. This gave me a good idea of what they were looking for. It is good to have an open mind, but also if you are wanting something specific make sure that is communicated.


Italian Spinone Portrait - The photo shoot


If you have read any of my pet photography guides you will know my first rule is to go outside, the lighting should always be brighter outdoors than indoors. We were very lucky in that the weather conditions were perfect, it was bright but not too sunny which is ideal for pet photography. You want a good amount of light but not so much that harsh shadows are created.


Bella was the easy one to photograph, she was quite happy to sit still and was the only dog outside when she was having her photoshoot, by the time Tor was out for his photo, we also had a visiting cockerpoo out to see the fun!


So Tor's photo was slightly harder to get, I have a few photos where Bella's lovely nose is in the way! But we got there after a few goes.


I was crouched down with my camera so I was in the perfect position for taking a photo from the right angle. For most pet portraits you want to be down on your dogs level, somewhere round about the height of their nose. As their portraits are going to be two separate pieces, it is not so integral to have them from absolutely the exact same position/angle. When taking photos for a group portrait you need to really have the photos all from the same height for the best results.



Italian Spinone Portrait - The Results


These lovely dogs owners' were very keen to ensure I had got their unique features on the photos. Their vivid eye colours and unusual noses. Bella in particular has some very unique nose markings that would be impossible for me to replicate without a high quality photograph.

Italian spinone portrait photography session outtake
An outtake from our little photography session!



These two photos should make nice pet portraits. They are in poses that their owners are happy with and the photos are clear and true to life.



Italian Spinone Portraits - The final portraits

I haven't yet finished their portraits, but here is a sneak peek for now..

italian spinone portrait- work in progress

To be continued!! I haven't completed their portraits yet but check back soon to see the final Italian Spinone portraits.


Italian Spinone Portraits - The Finished Portraits


italian spinone portraits in pastels

Here is Bella the Itaian Spinone's Portrait. Doesn't she look lovely? She was quite a challenge to get her colouring just right. Sandy coloured dogs are always more difficult than say black dogs, however, her orange coat is a unique challenge. Getting enough of those bold colours in and then toning them down with the sandy colours layered down on top, I found was the best way to get the end result.



italian spinone portrait in pastels

Here is Tor! Whilst they are both Italian Spinine's they look quite different to one another. He has a lovely brown coat with white patches and gingery tones. I love his long ears and the little curly bits in his beard.


These portraits have been created in pastels on pastel mat paper. I have also started working on velour and I think that Spinones would be a fantastic subject for a pet portrait on velour.


Do you own an Italian Spinone? Would you like their portrait creating in pastels? All you need to get the process started is to get in touch. I can give you help in ensuring you get high-quality photos of them to create your portrait. We can discuss your requirements regarding composition, size and framing and together we can create a lovely portrait of your pet.