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Custom Pet Portraits

_Dobby_.jpeg

This is my first pet portrait: my ridiculous dog, Dobby, watching television.

In 2020, I started drawing portraits from photos of people’s pets to make a little cash during the pandemic. Initially I used the medium I was most comfortable with: your basic Bic pen. After pleas from my family to use higher quality ink, I held my breath and switched to a set of Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens, which come in a range of thicknesses.

 

This upgrade forced me to change my technique. With the Bic pen, I could produce different shades by simply adjusting the pressure I applied to the paper. But with the Faber-Castells, the ink comes out in a consistent shade regardless of pressure. This meant I had to learn how to be more intentional with my line work. By experimenting with spacing, I could create different shades; the closer together the individual lines, the darker the group of them as a whole will appear. The potency of the ink also made me realize how important white space is, and that if I was stingy with it, overworking lighter forms at their edges, they would in fact get too dark and I’d lose that element of contrast that brings a drawing to life.

Since I started Custom Pet Portraits three years ago, I have moved three times, become a stay-at-home mom of two kids twenty-three months apart, bid my twenties adieu, and written, illustrated, and published my first children’s book, A Business of Ferrets. The intensity and chaos of parenting a toddler and an infant while promoting the book precludes me from accepting any pet portrait commissions at this time. For now, please enjoy the gallery! But check back from time to time; this season of life is finite, and I look forward to breaking out my pens again.

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