I painted a portrait of three dogs for the invite to the 17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball held by a small San Francisco non-profit called CLAW, www.clawsf.org. Design was done by Squillante Studios.

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

I was given the task of making three dogs (Mason, Anna and Candy) look like they were in the same place for a professional photograph. All three had passed away and their memory is being honored on the event invite. I was told not to make any changes to the image I was given but I was asked to add a background. This is the photo collage composition that I was given to work from:

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

 I was also given the following photos as reference:

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

Since the photos were not high quality, I used high resolution photos from the internet of similar dogs to increase the detail and clarity. I used the provided reference as character, color and size reference.

I needed to figure out what kind of background to put them in. I thought up a couple of things that might work and sketched them out for approval.

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

After speaking to Mat Squillante, the person who hired me for the job, I found out that both backgrounds were too much and all I needed to do was a blanket, pillow or some grass. Given the complexity of the illustration I was on a little bit of a tight schedule. I was glad I didn’t spend a lot of time sketching out each background. After much consideration and some direction from Mat, I went ahead with a blanket. I sketched it out and sent it to Mat for approval.

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

Once the sketch was approved, I moved on to the final art.

I decided to do the portrait in acrylic on 8.5″ X 11″ Arches hot press watercolor board. I had recently used the media on this surface for my Weedy Seadragons and liked how it handled.

In process photos:

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation
17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation
17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation

17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation
17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation
17th Annual Bark and Whine Ball Invitation