Friday, April 10, 2009

A Kangal & Two Companions

5" X 7" pen and ink

Honey is a nine-year-old Anatolian Shepherd Dog, an ancient breed from Turkey, also known as the Anatolian Karabash. Turks call them Kangals. These big, powerful dogs are fierce protectors of their flocks. When Tom and I hiked in Turkey, we learned to give the Kangals we came across a wide berth. We didn't want to mess with them or their sheep! I thought it highly appropriate that I was drawing a Turkish Kangal while President Obama and his wife, Michelle, were visiting Turkey!

Honey lives far from Turkey in Dripping Springs, Texas. She weighs in at 100 lbs., but she is so long-limbed and lithe that you wouldn’t know it. Every weekend, she visits a horseback riding stable. “She loves that,” says Gail, “eating hoof cookies, rolling in manure, interacting with the other dogs, lying in the dusty sand. Whenever we walk on the property, of course, she leads the way in great leaps. Occasionally, she chases a bunny or guinea hen. But, her breed is a guard type and her preference is to lie some place she can see everything. On a funny note, she is NOT a morning person. This morning, for example, Meg and I had already gotten up, made coffee, showered, had breakfast, but Honey had not even come out of the bedroom yet. When she did, she squinted her eyes at me, yawned, and then stretched a big downward dog. She's the easiest, quietest dog we've ever had.”

On another note:

I always advise people with pale dogs—Golden Retrievers, yellow Labradors, apricot Poodles, snowy Samoyeds, honey-colored Turkish Kangals—to choose a dark background for their PenPets portraits. It costs a little more (all those cross-hatchings take time, a steady hand, and a mindless sort of concentration), but I think it’s worth it to set off the dogs on the page. I decided to test my theory on this next drawing. Here are Sidney and Charlie with no background.

Kind of flat, I'd say.

Here is the finished portrait with a dark background.

Sidney & Charlie

5" X 7" pen and ink


Now the dogs pop right off the page! The dark background gives Sidney, the Golden, more depth, and it even adds drama to Charlie, the black-and-tan hound mix. These two dogs live in Salem, South Carolina, and are the constant companions of Oksana. Sidney is a happy dog, always smiling. Charlie is a hunter with no patience for photo ops. Is he scowling just a little bit in this portrait?


Ritesh said...

Selling pet portraits is a creative and easy way to make extra money

and most of the work can be done right from the comfort of your own home. To many people, their pet is an important and beloved member of the

family and, while beautiful portraits of other family members adorn the walls, most people rarely have a portrait of their pet

Abby Creek Art said...

I see what you mean about the background...what a difference. Love the way you do that cross hatch too.

Got your beautiful postcard...your new website looks fantastic! Congrats! Mine is coming along but probably won't be done for another 2-3 weeks. I'm getting impatient!