Welcome to you and all of your creatures - great or small! You've arrived in the Animal Portrait area of John Twinning Fine Art.
John has created work on a variety of themes and Animal Portraiture is one of his favourite subject areas.
John is always interested in discussing new commissions without obligation.
One of John's most detailed pet portrait commissions of recent years was for a family in Staffordshire of the their beautiful Golden Retriever, 'Molly'. A rough guide to John's approach to this piece is given below.
Molly's owner said "she was bred by Guide Dogs but sadly rejected by them at a very early age because of a problem with her legs. It was diagnosed as a rotational problem in her hind legs. Instead of puppy walking her, we kept her as a family pet. She has taken part in a few fund raising events."
Molly, as you can see from the finished picture above, was an extremely affectionate dog and I really enjoyed getting to grips with this lovable canine. I say was, because sadly, shortly after the painting was completed, Molly had to be put to sleep.
I outline below some details of how I approached this work.
The pictures below show the work in early stages of development. When you consider the finished piece above, you will see that the early stages were not really quite so appealing to the eye.
The first image in the series is in fact just the skeleton of the piece and needed to be considerably “fleshed out”. The initial drawing was sketched in using pencil and the painting was established with thin washes of gouache to mark positions of important features such as the eyes and nose etc. Concentration on positioning the eyes was particularly important as it is surprising how much information the eyes and their position give in identifying a subject - human or animal. Layers of thicker gouache were then added and the details built up. One of the reasons I rate gouache so highly is its ability to be over-painted. However, one must be careful not to work the paint too heavily or one can mix and drag up the colours underneath into layers above.
Molly painting in early stages of development.
Molly painting at about 38 hours of work.
Below is the preliminary sketch which I completed earlier using a limited palette of black, white and grey pastels on a neutral brown/grey pastel paper.
Prints of 'Molly - pastel sketch' are available to purchase in the Animal Portraiture section of the Gallery.