Ruby the Goldendoodle and Lu the duckling had a very special connection. Lu had followed Ruby’s dad home one day, and became a member of the family for awhile. When Ruby, who was a very special dog, passed on, I was asked to create a painting commemorating the two of them together. I had several photos to work from but none were exactly right. In the end, I combined three images–one of Ruby, and two different images of Lu, to get the perfect pose. I also added a better collar and a name tag for Ruby.

The photo is a combination of my final sketch, and photo composition for the painting.

As an artist, I am often grateful for all the years of graphic design and art directing I did in my earlier career. All that time spent manipulating photos in Photoshop has proven a very valuable tool in creating good reference to paint from. I also use this reference, along with a pencil sketch and a digital color proof as the way to convey to my clients, a very good idea of what the finished painting will look like. I feel this works and in my ten plus years of painting more than 100 pet portraits, I have been fortunate never to have had one rejected or to have any problems with clients during my painting process. I feel every day how lucky I am as an artist–I love working with people who love their pets as much as I love mine.