After I had the pleasure of drawing portraits of a friend’s dogs last fall, another friend saw them and asked if I would create a portrait of her business partner’s dog, Gumby.
Rebekah wanted to give the portrait to her partner and his wife as a Christmas present, and I was so happy that she trusted me with the project. She sent a few photos of Gumby with different expressions. And she wanted to include elements of his favorite blanket (that went with him on a very special beach vacation) and the fern in their back yard that he likes to…”visit” several times a day ;)
To get started, I made sure we were on the same page with approach by creating initial sketches based on her concepts and photos.
Rebekah picked the sketch on the left, saying that the goofy smile definitely feels like signature Gumby.
I only took one in-progress picture of this one. It’s so fascinating to me to see how the drawings begin as flat contour sketches, and bit by bit develop into something so expressive.
The final portrait really captures Gumby’s big smile and happy personality. And the sparkle in his eyes! I just want to give him a big bear hug. His blanket design is incorporated into the name banner, and his favorite fern frames him on the sides.
Rebekah had the portrait framed for gifting. I wasn’t there when she gave it to her partner and his wife, but she said they got tears in their eyes when they saw it. And they got it out again during dinner to look at it again. When she told me this story I teared up myself! It was so touching and I absolutely love that I was able to help them have a merry Christmas.
I’m so happy to be making these portraits for dog lovers! It’s something I’d like to be doing more of, so if you’d like to chat about a custom portrait of your dog, you can fill out this form: