I’ve had several requests this year for portraits featuring more than one pet. Dual portraits create more challenge in working out the composition, especially when the animals are very different in size from each other. These portraits also give an opportunity for balancing colors in interesting ways. When painting Bobby and Bing, the obvious challenge was scale. I needed to create a vehicle for showing off little Bing, the hamster, so that he wouldn’t be lost next to much bigger tiger-stripe kitty Bing. The bright flower provided an elevated pad for Bing that brought him up to Bobby’s eye level, and it helped to set the stage for a moonlit garden fantasy.
Ernest and Harold were two darling 3 1/2 month old kitten brothers, one a light orange color and the other a slightly darker orange. Orange being a favorite color of the client, it was requested that these boys be painted orange. Although a great deal of orange is used in the portrait, the blues and greens of the tulip vase create a striking contrast, and the muted green of the woodwork connects with the kittens’ lovely green eyes. I loved that this was done when kittens Ernest and Harold were still babies, and that it will serve as a marker of their kittenhood.
Seamus, a stately and mellow Komondor whose hair had been shorn to about 4 or 5 inches in length for the summer, and Mila, a smooth-haired Weimaraner, provided a real exercise in contrasts. Seamus’ dense coat had the curliest and tightest curls I’d ever painted. Mila’s coat, on the other hand, was super sleek. There was also a substantial size difference between the two of them, and I found that the closer I brought Seamus to the viewer, the more his head began to consume the space. So I chose to set Seamus back a little in order to show his grand stature and to avoid overwhelming Mila’s more delicate form.
These two Dobermans‘ beautifully sculpted individual facial features and expressions really complemented one another, and I used a range of striking blues to show the variations in tones between them. The warm tones of the leather chair arm and the deep pops of red color set off the brilliant blues.
To see more of my pet portraits, visit my Pet Portraits page.