Thursday, January 26, 2017

German Shepherd Oil Painting


Sierra, Portrait of a German Shepherd 
16 x 20 oil on canvas
©Carole Rodrigue 2017
SOLD


Hey everyone, meet Sierra the German Shepherd. She was a beauty and her owner really misses her, so her portrait was commissioned.  I cannot express how much I enjoyed painting this.  Though she is gone, I hope this painting will bring some joy and fond memories.

Why did I enjoy painting this so much? The lighting.

For me, the best paintings aren't always about detail, but rather, lighting and mood. The best pet portraits are those with references with natural outdoor lighting.  I cannot stress enough how indoor photos with the flash having been used are not good references.  You can have a painting where all the details are there, every hair painted, but then it's boring because there's nothing special about the light.

When painting a pet portrait, it's crucial to get things right.  Indoor photos with the flash are poor references.  You can't see the eyes and you have to guess.  Details are missing, disguised by the flash, other areas overly enhanced.  When considering a pet portrait, always try to get soft outdoor lighting whenever possible.  I understand that's not always possible, especially when a pet is gone.

Sometimes something good can come out of a bad shot, as in this painting.




The reference for this painting was a tiny paper photo and the dog was only in about 1/3 of the photo.  Picture that picture.  That was a tiny dog to look at. (The reference above is cropped to protect the child's privacy.  The dog only filled a portion of the whole photo.) So, I scanned it at the highest resolution before agreeing to paint it.  Because I was able to see the eye and good shapes, I agreed to paint it and created one of the portraits I'm most proud of.  Seeing the eyes is so important.  I have painted several with the flash being used and guessing what the eyes looked like, but I think I was lucky to be successful.  It makes things that much harder.

Natural light folks, natural light.

Now I'm starting another German Shepherd painting and I can't wait to show you!  It'll have dramatic lighting this time and I'll talk about that when I get to post it.

Thanks for visiting!  If you want your pet portrait commissioned, be sure to visit my website at http://www.carolerodrigue.com   for info.  Use the Contact form if you have questions.



Sunday, January 8, 2017


Ebony
8 x 10 soft pastel on matt suede board
Carole Rodrigue © 2017
SOLD



Ebony was a sweet girl that I am so fortunate to have been chosen to paint.  She is dearly missed by her family and when they saw it, the portrait brought tears.  She was a rescue dog and it's believed she was a cross between a Belgian Shepherd and a Husky.  I was drawn by her gorgeous eyes and wanted to create the painting in a way that nothing would detract from the eyes.  There's an innocent and youthful vitality in those eyes that speak volumes.

Painting pet portraits can be a bitter-sweet thing to do.  Many times, the reason you are commissioned to paint a portrait is because someone's beloved pet is deceased.  The reason you are hired is to create a treasured memory, capture a moment, a look.  These portraits often bring tears at first, but then the fond memories come.  I can't tell you how humbling it is to be able to participate in such an important part of people's lives.

Another commission I had completed last fall also reminds me of how privileged I am to take part in people's lives in such a special way.  I was just sent a video from a client recently.  The video shows a little girl reading a special birthday message to an elderly woman who is in a home.  After she's done reading the note, the little girl presents the woman with a gift bag. The woman pulls out the painting from the gift bag, brings her hand up to her mouth, gasps, and sheds a tear as she recognizes her beloved pet who is deceased.  There is family from across the country and others from overseas.  They tell her this is the professional oil painting she had always wanted of her cherished friend.

When I saw this, I also cried.  No words can describe the intimacy, the specialness of the moment, and how humbled and honoured I feel that something I created is helping this elderly woman and many others cherish their memories.  It is so humbling to know that you participated in these people's lives in such a special way.  Something you created as an artist has touched and moved someone somewhere.  That my friends, is the greatest reward one can get from being an artist.  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Golden Retriever Portrait in Oil


Ginger
11 x 14 oil on canvas
Carole Rodrigue ©2016
SOLD


This private commission was painted as a a very special memorial gift for Christmas.  When I saw the reference, I gasped at how beautiful this dog was and knew that this would be a very special painting.

While I'm very saddened for the client and her family that their beloved dog is now gone, I'm so honoured that I was selected to paint this beauty.  The reference was perfect: it was high resolution, clear with very visible eyes and features, and beautiful soft outdoor lighting.  The pose was so sweet, expressing a loving gentleness. It's the sort of reference that artists dream about because you just know this is going to be a very special piece.

I'm told it brought tears to the owner, but I hope this painting will now bring fond memories and smiles.


#petportraits #petportraitsfromphotos #petportaitsinoil #goldenretrieverpaintings #goldenretrieverart #petportraitsCanada

Thursday, December 22, 2016

American Bulldog Oil Painting



American Bulldog Portrait
8 x 10 Oil
© 2016 Carole Rodrigue
SOLD


 This American Bulldog was a loyal, loving, and gentle family pet that passed a few years ago.   The portrait was commissioned as a special gift.  I'm told she was such a loved dog and is missed very much, so I hope this painting brings joy for many years to come.  I cannot express how much I enjoyed painting this one.  There were so many interesting variations in colour and capturing the gentleness in the eye  was important for me.  I also deliberately painted very soft edges around her head to create the gentle air I'm told this girl had.

I've more portraits to show after the holidays, but I couldn't wait to show this one, and it's safe to do so.  I hope you enjoyed this painting, and have a very Merry Christmas!



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Pudlepointer Pet Portrait


Blitz the Pudlepointer
8 x 8 soft pastel on sanded paper
Carole Rodrigue ©2016


Blitz the Pudlepointer (I love that name!) was the winner in my Facebook contest for a free pet portrait.  (By the way, please go give my page a LIKE.  I'd really love you, and thank you.)

I cannot tell you how much fun it was to paint this gorgeous fella.  I love the soft window light as he gazes out at who knows what.  It is definitely the type of painting I love to work on!

This was also the first time I worked with sanded paper.  I love how it takes a lot of pastel layers without being fussy.  Since I love to work in a lot of layers with my oil paints, it's definitely suitable for my style of work. I'll definitely be working with this again.

I hope you enjoy Blitz the Pudlepointer!  If you want to inquire about your own pet portrait commission, visit my website by clicking HERE.




#petportraits #dogpaintings #softpasteldogpaintings #animalart #petportraitsfromphotos #custompetportraits 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Holly, Pet Portrait in Oil


Holly
8 x 10 Oil
Carole Rodrigue ©2016
SOLD 


When your life's passion is creating art and you can mesh that together with making people very, very  happy, then life is awesome.  Truly, flipping AWESOME!

Holly was commissioned by a client as a special gift for her grandmother.  There weren't good photos of Holly to use and I was given two photos to combine together.




One photo showed an older Holly, eyes whited by what I think are cataracts.  The client wanted the look to be young and fresh as in the photo of Holly as a pup (photo #1) but the pose of photo #2, and not too much shine or white to the fur, as well as keeping the fur out of her eyes.

This was a little tricky because at that point, you're kinda guessing what the eyes are going to look like since you don't have a reference of good eyes at that stage in life.

Long story short though: SUCCESS!

It took some work, a little back and forth with the client, a little tweaking here and there, but I was able to get Holly's look down.  There were a few people judging this piece to make sure it would be perfect for their grandmother.  I was told they were a tough bunch to please but that I had exceeded their expectations.  Their grandmother is also very happy and said that she now feels as though her Holly will always be with her.  This made my eyes mist over.  I love my job.  :-D  


#petportraits #petportraitcommissions #petportraitsfromphotos #custompetportraits #petportraitsinoil #dogpaintings #blackdogpainting


Friday, September 23, 2016

A Very Special Pet Portrait in Oil


Remembering Molly
11 x 14 Oil on linen
Carole Rodrigue ©2016
SOLD


This special painting was commissioned by a group to give as a gift.  I'm told they all loved it very much!

Painting this was so effortless.  I'm not saying this in a bragging kind of way.  What I mean is that the soft tones, lighting, and moment were such a pleasure to paint that it did not feel like work. I love the overall softness of the lighting and tones, which I feel contributed to rendering the perfect atmosphere for this gentle scene.  The special bond captured between a man and his best friend is so moving and the love is obvious.

I can't stress enough how much of an honour it is to be entrusted to capture these special moments.  As an artist, the satisfaction comes from the positive reactions people have to these works.  If I succeeded at accurately capturing a scene, a pet, person, or a moment, and the recipients are happy, then I am immensely satisfied.  That's when I feel a job has been well done, when I get positive feedback.  That's big.  HUGE!

Now, if you're thinking of commissioning your own special pet portrait, do not delay!  The holidays are coming really fast and time is required for an oil painting.  I'm already booked into October so be sure to reserve your space now.  I work from your quality photos to perfectly capture your pet's portrait on oil or pastel. You can contact me for more info HERE.



#petportraits #petportraitcommissions #petportraitsCanada #petportraitsfromphotos #dogcommissions #catcommissions #petpaintings #dogpaintings #animalartists #petportraitsSudbury #petportraitsinoil