Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Year of the dog


I'm not a huge fan of traditional portraits, but when I spotted Letter Fest's modern take on this in November, I decided to commission them to draw a picture of Nell, for my husband's birthday. Now that I'm writing it, I'm wondering if that's a really odd present, but it does feel as though this has been my husband's very own Year of the Dog, so it seemed a good way to mark this year in his life.

Finding a photo for Letterfest to draw from wasn't quite as easy as I'd imagined. I knew that my husband would want a portrait of her looking like a proper grown-up dog, so any of the younger, puppyish photos were out of the question, but when you begin imagining how a photo might look once its drawn in pencil, you begin to agonise over whether a photo will be just right once rendered in a different format.


After three weeks of trying to take a nice photo of her (and worrying over lolling tongues - would it look cute or gormless in a picture? Smiling, wolfish teeth - would they look cheerful or just weirdly vicious? Would the angle of her body look odd and disembodied once she'd been removed from her surroundings and placed on a plain background?), I finally took this photo and decided that I was almost happy with it. The one thing that I didn't love was that the photo cropped the top of Nell's head off but, without my asking, the artist at Letterfest drafted in a perfect head for her. I was so pleased by this!


Anyway, I thought I might share this here in case you're having your very own Year of the Dog/Cat/House and want to mark it in some way. You can find Letter Fest here and they also have a shop on Not on the Highstreet.

Florence x

16 comments:

  1. That picture is just so lovely, I just love the style combined with the soft background colour and her name on the bottom!

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  2. How gorgeous. It is hard with animal pictures not to make them look too sentimental, this hits just the right note- I am very tempted to have one of our dog

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  3. I love this and, like Kerry, am tempted to get one of Archie (for me) and one of Alfie (for my mam). Maybe for next Christmas?!!!

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  4. I think that is an absolutely prefect gift for you to give your husband this year!

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  5. A perfect gift, very tempted to get one of my 2 little dogs.

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  6. It's a beautiful gift, not weird at all, i am sure he will be delighted! :o)

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  8. Gorgeous and even more lovely that she has one of your quilts over her. I would love it as a present so I'm sure your husband will x

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  10. I'd love this as a gift! It's a lovely portrait!

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  11. This is a perfect gift! I'd be thrilled to receive it! I painted a portrait of my husband's beloved family dog about ten years ago, and, well, lots of love went into it, but the execution is a bit embarrassing. I would love to have our pups drawn, so thank you for sharing this resource!

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  12. Wouldn't this be lovely embroidered too?

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  13. What a great gift idea. Your dog is really cute!

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  14. Just stumbled across your blog - Nell is adorable, what a great gift.

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  15. I MUST check this artist out! Excellent pet portrait.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x