I feel like it is has become a regular thing of mine to go periods of time without updating! I feel very bad, but I can’t complain you are keeping me busy with all your pet portrait commissions. Recently I have painted two flat coat retrievers portraits, Rosie and Geddy. I have a had a black lab commission, and one on the easel now. I have also been busy doing lots of other art other than pet portraits! I have been working on a couple of wildlife commissions and also a series of wildlife pieces on canvas ready for a gallery in Oxford! Exciting times for Sarah’s Pet Portraits!
Exciting Two Weeks……
I have had a week away, able to get some R&R before I come back to the manic life of a pet portrait artist, which I wouldn’t change for the world I hasten to add!
Over the last couple of weeks I have been approached by a new gallery, wanting my watercolours on canvas. That has been a bit of a learning curve, but I do love a challenge.
Today I got the fabulous news I have won the CassArt watercolour competition and I get to spend £500.00 on shiny new art materials in their shop. That makes a very happy Sarah!
As Busy As Ever.
I was hoping to do a stage by stage of my latest portrait. 7 labrador puppies in a Land Rover. It is the ultimate in cuteness. But as usual I have been rush of my feet, both gallery work and pet portraits. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if started taking commissions for Christmas.
I did however manage to get some stage by stage photos this latest portrait. So when I have a chance I will right it out for anyone who would like to follow it.
Puppies haven’t been the only labrador action these last weeks. I completed a lovely old ladies portrait. She has cancer sadly and so my client wanted this portrait of Kia for her Mum’s 50th birthday. Pet portraits make a range of wonderful gifts. Wedding, birthday, valentines, Mother or Fathers day. Or maybe just because you deserve a present to yourself.
Having a Full Studio Day….
….is a rare thing these days. Sounds funny being an artist right? You would think I would spend all day painting. Sadly not. The busier I get the more admin, packing of work, phone calls and visits that occur.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. Busy is good. However today I have a full day, except a brief trip to the post office, painting in my studio and I am very excited. Painting seven puppies. I am planning a work in progress guide on this huge piece, so if you a practicing your pet portraits or just looking for some tips on how to work with pastels I think it will be a good follow.
I will add a link later.
I have watched many other artists use amazing colours and producing very expressionist work. I love creating realistic, almost, but not quite photo realistic pet portraits. I like people to be able to look at it and see that is a painting not a photo, but still with a huge emphasis on realism. It has, however, been nagging at me for ages to give this looser style a go, to not get so caught up in every tiny detail and most importantly have fun.
So, I treated to myself to some very expensive watercolour tubes! I made sure I bought non of my usual colours for my pet paintings. I purchased blues, greens, purples, magenta’s, turquoise, you name it. Any colour that doesn’t normally feature……..and slapped it down. Well sort of!
The first was a bit wishy washy and I was understandably cautious using a new medium in this way, but I continued and have come up with my rainbow pieces. I am sure my style has a long way to go, and will morph over the coming months. However I have already had enquiries for pet portraits to painted in my rainbow style…..what do you think….
Painting pets in my studio. I am finally recovered from the Bluebell Festival and I am back to the pet portraits. Finally I have a cat portrait on my easel. It has been far too long. It is quite a difficult reference photo, but it was all my client had. I hate to turn anyone who wants a pet portrait done, so unless the photo is really bad, I will endeavor to create the best portrait I can from any reference. However, please find here a link to how photograph you pet for their portrait here. You may have to scroll a bit, sorry! Also don’t forget I am happy to come to you if you are local and take photos for your pet portrait.
I am finishing up a Labrador portrait for a client who understood the need for good photos for me to work from. It took her a year to get them, but it really is worth it. The finished portrait is so much better than it would have been without good quality photos.
Remember also in this digital age you can take as many photos as you would like, even on your phone. I remember when I couldn’t use phone photos as reference for pet portraits. Not any more. Those iphones and Samsungs are brilliant, so get snapping!
Have a great bank holiday weekend,
The Bluebell Festival at Riverhill was a resounding success. I demonstrated how I work on my dog portraits. On the easel was Sam, German Short Haired Pointer. I answered many questions about my pet portraits and wildlife art and hoping I will get some more commissions. However my order book is currently full until mid August. I am going to have to start nudging people to book their Christmas commissions in!
I have a few galleries to approach and also this week some more wildlife prints will be heading over to Made In Kent.
Next time I will be demonstrating my pet portraits and will be available to talk to will be at Knockholt Carnival. More details to follow.
Busy week ahead, not much time for the pet portrait side of things!
Busy prepping for the Riverhill Bluebell Festival so the pet portraits are sadly taking the sideline this week. Don’t forget I do work in other mediums other than pastels. I have dog portraits in pen and watercolour and another in graphite. Pet portraits for everyone’s taste!
Check back for some updates and news on Riverhill.
Something a Little Different
I love my job as an artist and the pleasure it brings painting people’s beloved pets. Normally the majority of my work consists of dog portraits, followed by horse portraits. Cat portraits not so much, which is a shame as I love them. However, I got my first bovine portrait last month. I was so happy to get this unique commission. I guess perhaps you can’t class it as a pet portrait, but non the less they love their beautiful cow, and I was honoured to have been chosen to capture her.
Beginning of April
Happy belated Easter everyone. I have been juggling Easter entertainment for the kids and the usual pet portraits. Not only that but I have had some very exciting news.
A range of my new Greeting Cards are being stocked in Made in Kent, in Gravesend along with a selection of prints.
In 10 days I will be at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens for an art exhibition around bluebells. I will be taking the original of Amber II and prints of Amber and Amber II will be available to buy. I shall also be demonstrating a pet portrait piece, or maybe a wildlife one on Thursday the 21st and Sat 23rd of April. Please feel free to come down and have chat with me. Both references of Amber were kindly given to me by Linda Starkey.
As far as pet portraits go, my most recent commission off the easel is Rudi, a stunning German Shepherd. I also have finished 3 fox red lab portraits. Can’t show you those yet, but keep your eyes open!
I have been running a blog, but thought it maybe useful to update various bits of information here too. I am taking on more and more wildlife commissions and I am the busiest I have been for a long time with regards to pet portraits. Originals can be found for sale on Artfinder, Animal Artworks and through my facebook page
I have a couple of stalls planned through out the year, one being the local heavy horse show in Shoreham. More details to follow. I also offer wildlife commissions, always fancied a tiger or a deer on your wall, I can do that for you. Also I love doing livestock of all types, it doesn’t have to be your typical, dog or horse portrait. If you have any queries regarding your pet portrait or any other commission, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or drop an email here
Here are some of my recently completed commissions
Gio – horse portrait
Bailey – dog portrait
I thought you might like to see the results of my experimentation in acrylics and graphite. I am currently working on price lists for these portraits.
This is Scooby, 10×12 acrylics on canvas board. It was great fun to play with a new medium, and whilst it looks different to my pastels portraits I am very pleased with the result. I hope you like it too.
This is a tiger piece completed in graphite and I shall shortly be releasing a limted run of prints, 8×8 inches backed and mounted. It currently has no title as I am very bad at thnking up titles so any suggestions on a postcard please!
Apologies to all
I must apologise for be so slack in updating news for my website but 2012 has been undoubtedly my busiest year to date.
I have completed more commissions last year than ever before and I have also started experimenting in other media, which I will be offering later this year. Acrylics, graphite and possibly oils.
Unfortunately I am going to have to revise my prices for 2013. This will be my first price rise in 4 years and although I am loathed to do so the cost of materials has now forced me my hand. Anyone that have recieved a quote from please rest assured this will not will not change.
Happy New Year!!
Recently completed commissions
New Website launch May 2012.
Well if you are reading this you are looking at my new pet portraits website, I hope you like it. I had my old site for 7 years a decided it was time for a change. My new website will allow me more control over the content as I can now do it all myself rather than having to ask my webdesigner to do so. I will also be able to add and take down pages as I choose, so please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything you would like to see, pet portrait wise or not as the case maybe!
2012 has been a hugely busy year for me, my busiest yet and I have so many wonderful pet portraits to complete and more to come. Currently I am booked up until August so if you have a pet portrait in mind for a birthday in September I would seriously consider booking now. I would actually suggest that anyone who is thinking of getting a pet portrait for Christmas present I would also book now avoid disappointment.
This has been a lovely month for me as I got married on the the 3rd. I have been with my partner 14 years now and we had the most amazing day. We were truly blessed with the weather too. My name is now Sarah Brookes, but I will continue to work under the name Sarah Leigh.
Due to planning the wedding and then finally getting married I have been a little quieter on the work front, but things are starting to pick up for Christmas. I have planned a couple of group portraits, a competition winner is having her horse painted and I have my first graphite cat portrait commission. If this proves a success I will be adding graphite portraits as an alternative to pastels.
I am also currently giving 10%off all pet portraits ordered through my Facebook page. So please go over and visit my page and look out for the special code to use when emailing me. But be quick; you only have until the 16th of October to order your discounted pet portrait!
11th August 2011
I launched my Facebook page in September 2010 and now has well over 1,000 fans. This page has been a great asset to me since its launch, bringing me a lot of support and even some commissions. I use it to show how I produce my portraits by posting various photos of my work in progress. I also find it gives people who like my pet portraits, and are interested in art generally, to ask me questions. I love to be able to help people with their art too so I welcome questions. I am happy for people to post pictures of their art work for advice or even if it is just to share a photograph of their beloved pet. I have also found it valuable in getting market research for my pet portraits and other sort of art work people want to see.
I also try to run regular competitions for gift vouchers and even occasionally a FREE pet portrait. Special offers are run for my Facebook followers too every now and then. It really is worth coming over and liking my Facebook page to hear any news, competitions and special offers I am running!
8th January 2011
2010 was a very busy year for me, but not so much on the art front. As some of you may know I had my second child, a boy, born on the 12th of March. I cannot believe he is now just over 2 months away from his first birthday.
My partner was also very ill for a while which made the return to work more difficult than anticipated.
Finally in September I started my first commission, one that I had received before Leo’s birth. My client really wanted me to do the portrait and she was happy to wait until I returned to work. I also very quickly started receiving my Christmas commissions.
These were all completed in time and have been placed in the relevant galleries and I have now started on my portraits for 2011. These include a cat, a GSD, flat coated retriever, plus more.
Come back here or visit my Facebook page here to keep up with what is on my easel.