I once painted a portrait that featured 8 dogs of different breeds, and I once painted a portrait of 3 Westies (West Highland Terriers). So, when I was asked to paint a portrait with 6 Westies, I said, “Sure! I can do that!”
It turned out to be a bigger challenge than I expected. I found that it takes a few visual “tricks” to make a painting with so many white colored animals visually appealing.
I think I pulled it off, though. What do you think?
This portrait was very special to the family who commissioned the painting. The six animals featured are/were pets that filled the family’s home with love for many years.
There is Spooky (top right), who was the first pet of a young newly married couple. Spooky was a loving dog who was very protective of the couple’s first child. Although he has long since passed, Spooky’s presence is still felt in the home. A statue of Spooky greets visitors at the front door, and a flowering fruit tree grows in the spot where he was buried.
Daisy (top center) was a sweet girl who was best pals with Chadwick (bottom right). Both of these two pups were ‘talkers’ and they were quite affectionate. Sadly, Daisy’s life was shortened after 5 years by a brain tumor. Chadwick, a somewhat stubborn character, found a new buddy in Petunia (top center). Although she was a petite pup, Petunia was clearly an ‘Alpha’ dog who guarded her personal boundaries with ferocity.
Violet (bottom left) and Clover (bottom center) are the two pups who presently enliven this home that has seen such a legacy of loving Westies. Violet is a somewhat pensive dog who is a regal guardian for the home. She is very observant and attentive to her human companions, yet she has a mind of her own, only coming when called if she feels like it. Clover is an adventurous explorer of the great outdoors, and she is also a playful instigator. Both are sweet girls who love their humans very much.
I had the opportunity to meet Violet and Clover when I delivered the painting. They are, indeed, very sweet and fun! Their humans are charming as well.
I enjoy painting legacy portraits where a family’s history is memorialized through their love of the animals who have shared their lives with them. The relationships that we develop with our pets are deep and enduring, so what better way is there to trace a family’s legacy of love?
Margaret, one of Violet and Clover’s humans, was so inspired by the process of commissioning the portrait, she decided to try her hand at painting a portrait herself in my recent Pet Portrait Painting Mini-Retreat. Her daughter will be joining us with a friend at my next Mini-Retreat on Black Friday. We would love to have you join us!
I don’t think we will see Margaret painting 6 pups in one portrait anytime soon, but you never know…
Life is an Adventure!
The Six Westie portrait is a Premiere Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Painting. Check out the in-process photos of the Six Westie portrait here!