Multiple Pet Portrait - A portrait of 2 whippets and a border terrier
A blog post on one of my most recent and most favourite pet portraits to date.
Most of my pet portraits are either of single pets, or if there are multiple pets in a family, I often create separate but matching portraits of each pet.
However, this portrait was commissioned of 3 dogs all from an original photo of them posed together. I was so pleased when I received this photo by email. I just knew it would make an excellent portrait!
Multiple Pet Portrait - The photos
The photo for this portrait was one single photo, however I did request extra photos of the whippets in order to have some photos with extra detail. The photo was one taken by their dog walker and was downloaded off of Facebook, so had been compressed somewhat. When a photo is compressed, this means that some of the detail is lost.
With the lack of detail, I thought it would be a nice opportunity to create this portrait on velour paper. This paper has the texture of velvet, and is quite literally hairy. When creating a pastel pet portrait on velour, you get a softer more painterly effect than on pastelmat. This is due to the texture of the paper. With less detail on the photo it would match nicely with the velours capabilities.
I was working from one singular photo with extras for detail, however if you are wanting a multiples pet portrait it is sometimes best to use more than photo, with separate photos fro each pet. When using different photos it is best that they are taken from the same angle and in the same lighting conditions. For example both taken at nose height. If you are wanting a multiple pet portrait including a pet that has passed away, please send me the photos you have and we can work out a composition and work out how to take photos of your current pets to best match the photos you have.
Multiple Pet Portrait - The process
We knew the photo that we were working from, so next it was time to work out the sizing and composition. Of the 3 dogs we had a range of sizes, especially their heads, the whippets were a lot smaller than the border terrier. Therefore we needed to find a size that worked well for all three sizes. We decided on 16x20 inches, which ended up being a really nice size. It allowed me to create a portrait that had enough detail was included in all 3 dogs and also it was a really nice size to go on the wall once framed.
My sizing price lists include 3 different sizes, however these are by no means the only options, in reality pretty much any size is possible. When commissioning a multiple pet portrait, it is more likely that a custom size is needed, so please don't hesitate to get in touch and I can give you my honest opinions on what size is best.
Here are a few photos of this pet portrait in progress. With such big portraits that have a lot of different areas to work on it does take a while for it all to come together. They tend to look quite messy up until they are nearly finished.
Here are a few photos from the framing process. As this was a commission for a local client we decided it was best to get it framed. At such a large size it is hard to find high quality ready made frames with glass fronts. They are often plexiglass which is not suitable for pastel pet portrait framing. I went in to the framers (outframed at Ripley) and took photos of a range of options, that would suit both the portrait, home decor and budget.
It was decided to go with a nice dark grey frame that worked well with the greys in the portrait.
The only problem with such a lovely shiny frame is it is quite hard to photograph without getting a reflection in the glass!
Here is a comment from the dogs owner "This was a 30th birthday present from my Mum. Always wanted a portrait done of the dogs, so I looked around and found Amy. I cannot get over how amazing this is. She even went to the trouble of getting it framed. Throughout the whole process, she kept me up to date with how far along it was. It's immaculate, I literally cannot find a flaw in the whole piece. I absolutely love it"
Other Multiple Pet Portraits
Whilst we are on the subject of multiple pet portraits, here is another one I have done recently. This too was commissioned from one photo. However, I did need to use other photos to get a little more detail. The original photo was of the little cat and dog (Mandy and Sheila) sat together on the sofa.
This pet portrait is 12x16 inches and was mounted to 16x20 inches. This is a nice size for a 2 pet portrait of two smaller animals.
I like doing matching individual portraits for multiple pet portrait commissions. You can see two examples of these above. It can be a good option if you're struggling to get photos of them sat together!!
If you are thinking of commissioning a multiple pet portrait, please get in touch. We can work out what the perfect composition and size is to get the perfect pet portrait of your animals.