The Dog Bark Park series began when I was asked create a portrait of Champ for the annual “Urban Wanderers” art exhibit at the Saint University Museum of Art, or SLUMA. It is a fundraiser for Stray Rescue of St. Louis, a group that does incredible work rescuing, rehabilitating and adopting animals from what are often terrible circumstances. Champ is a bit of a celebrity with thousands of Facebook followers. He’s a beautiful Akita and I was honored to draw him. I decided to use an iPad and Apple Pencil for the project. I worked from a photograph that captured his curious and engaged expression. Using Procreate, I worked in multiple layers to build up his fur. The background was ‘painted’ in my favorite app, the underrated and extremely powerful OmniSketch. Final touches are done in another great photo editing app, Snapseed.
I’m happy to say that my picture of Champ was purchased by his owners, so in a sense, it was rescued, too. Sensing that maybe I was onto something, I did a portrait of our dog, Bruno, the Welsh Corgi. Next came a commission for Gemini. More requests came in and I’m now going to be selling my dog portraits. If you’re interested, send me a note on my contact page or go directly to my Etsy page and click the ‘Request Custom Order’ button to order a custom pet portrait.