Even if you already have a favourite picture of your dog, it will be useful to take more so we can select an especially strong one for me to work from.


We are looking for at least 5 images that really tick all these boxes:

  • Capture your dog's character
  • Have a glint of light in the eyes
  • In focus (even when enlarged)
  • Ideally taken at eye level with the dog rather than looking down
  • Includes the ears
  • No tongues (just as with humans they always look odd in drawings)

Most importantly it's the expression that counts. The tilt of the face, the cocked ear, raised brow, an attentive or resting look in their eyes.

Arty

IMG_6540

Taking a good photo

  • Give yourself time to relax and connect naturally with your dog. Assume that it might take more than one session to capture 'a look' you love.
  • Daylight is best, and it's important their eyes are well lit. It's the detail in the eyes that give life to my drawings.
  • Use a camera, or a high resolution phone camera (min 1MB per image file).
  • Take 20-50 shots and then delete all the blurred, blinked and odd-looking ones.
  • Make sure you include their entire head, ears too. (I can crop wide-framed shots afterwards).
  • Get down to their eye level. Try being as candid as you can (turn off the phone camera click sound). Or try being playful, chatter casually to your dog to put them at ease (especially if your dog tends to flatten back it's ears and look more like a big eyed seal when awaiting instructions). Encourage them to respond naturally to you

 

Some examples

IMG_6129
Flat ears, lack of head definition.
Flat ears change the profile. Not being down at eye level made his snout look overly long
Flat ears change the profile. Not being down at eye level made his snout look overly long.
Too tightly cropped. We’re looking down on the face, putting it in shadow and the nose & ear tips are missing.
Too tightly cropped. We’re looking down on the face, putting it in shadow and the ear tips are missing.
I love this photo & will draw it just for my pleasure but it doesn't make for a great portrait
I love this photo & will draw it just for my pleasure but it doesn't make for a great portrait.
Full of character & feeling. Calm, yet alert. Gentle light in the eyes & soft shadows enhancing the texture of the fur & shape of the head.
Full of character & feeling. Calm, yet alert. Gentle light in the eyes & soft shadows enhancing the texture of the fur & shape of the head.
Final portrait
Finished drawing.