Apart from some minor adjustments that I might add in the next day or so, this is the (almost) completed portrait of our Chinese Shar-Pei, Tia.
Achieving depth and dimension with her black coat and all those wrinkles was a great challenge, but I thoroughly enjoyed working on this and I am really pleased with the resulting portrait, although I might need to get a better photograph in better light!
Pastels on Velour Art Paper
10″ x 14″
This is the reference photo I used for Tia’s portrait – as you can probably see I took this photo with the flash on (something that is not usually recommended), just to make sure that I could see all the curves and contours of her wrinkly face! Most of the photos I have of her are either very black, or if she is in full sunlight, her eyes will be closed, so using the flash was the best way to get a nice detailed photo, then it was simply a matter of making her fur darker than it appeared in the photo to make it look like my dog rather than the washed out/faded reference photo.
This Shar-Pei art pet portrait features on dog breed merchandise such as stationery, prints, greeting cards, tote bags and more.
Shar-Pei Breed Info: Shar-Pei’s are an ancient dog breed, and are still fairly rare, although thanks to tv commercials such as the toilet roll ad with the wrinkly puppy, “Rolly” they are becoming more popular.
The breed is best known for its wrinkled apprearance which is caused by the excess skin they have. generally puppies and young dogs appear to have more wrinkles as older dogs grow into their skin a little bit. (This is actually a good thing, as Shar-Pei’s do suffer from skin conditions do to the wrinkles and rough fur irritating the skin.)
The name “Shar-Pei” literally means “sand-skin”, or loosely translated to “sand-paper-like coat” which refers to the unique characteristics of the Shar-Pei coat – its roughness and its shortness. The Shar-Pei also has another distinctive characteristic that is shared with only one other breed, the Chow Chow (also a Chinese breed) – both breeds have a blue-black tongue!
Of course I am biased, but Shar-Pei’s are an incredible breed – totally devoted to their families, highly intelligent and excellent watch/guard dogs!
More information on the Shar-Pei breed can be found at http://www.sharpei.com.au/