Whenever I’m given the opportunity to do a new portrait of a dog or cat, I enjoy most the process of “getting inside” the character or personality of my animal subject.I’m always amazed at what comes through when I open myself to their spirits.
Gentle souls that they are, animal pals are most happy to share, even helping to work through the process with me when things are tough.
In my many years as a product and concept developer, I learned the technique of getting inside of a particular product or challenge. It’s working from the outside in, and the results are often magical. Even when the subject is inanimate, amazing things happen when you work to strip out its superficial aspects. Somehow, when you reach the “inside” of the challenge, it makes itself more clear, and yes, sometimes more animate, thus malleable. And therefore, more open to impression and input.
If this all seems a bit abstract, it’s because it is, in fact difficult to understand without a bit of practice. You’ll have to work at it for a while. But its worth it.
Featured here today is a recent commission, of a cat named Earl. Apparently Earl spent much of his life with his eyes half-open. Which made him a uniquely distinctive subject. I learned a lot from him as we worked together on his portrait.