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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Golden Retriever Portrait; commission painting in pastel

Portrait artists oftentimes have to make due with less than desirable photographs to work from when creating a painting.  This can lead to frustration or artists' refusal to work with such images.  I often have to work with such images and while I admit I've had my share of frustrations, it forces me to use my artistic judgement rather than solely rely on a photograph. Of course, I always take the client's feedback into consideration, as they sometimes guide me in the process, and as long as they are happy with the likeness of their pet, it was worth the effort on my part.
Here is the latest dog portrait just off my easel, and recently approved by the client.  It gives me great pleasure to be able to create a lasting memory that the owner can treasure and remember their beloved pet.
Golden Retriever dog painting portrait in pastel by Colette Theriault
Golden Retriever
18" x 24"

dog pet portrait photograph
reference image 4" x 6"


  1. Oh Goodness! You've worked miracles from that image.

    I've had similar photos provided in the past but really hate to work from refs like this where you can't see features. well done :-)

  2. I had no doubt that your client would love this painting, Colette.
    This Golden Retriever is flawless.

  3. Thanks ladies!! I did have other photos which help for the details but they pose on those were not the greatest. Just happy the client is happy!

  4. I too often have problems with reference photos, but I always try to do my best with artistic licence. Often the client doesn't have a decent photo.
    I haven't had anyone unhappy yet.
    I don't know what your experience is, but I usually find the eyes and nose are the areas of the photo that are not at all clear or if there are intense black and you can't find any detail.

    This is a gorgeous painting by the way.

  5. HI Sarah and thanks for your comments! I am lucky to not have any unhappy clients yet; which is probably why I keep accepting those more difficult portraits.