Sadie is officially a model now! She is the newest subject of a fabulous watercolor portrait by the artist Ruth Oosterman. I was so excited to get this portrait in the mail last week! Sadie looks beautiful, the colors are brilliant, and I love how the watercolor gives the portrait a whimsical feel. I recently had the opportunity to speak to Ruth about her portrait work. I found it very interesting to hear about animals from an artistic perspective. Read on to find the interview, some beautiful portraits created by Ruth, and a special surprise at the end!
What made you start painting pet portraits?
I love animals. Absolutely adore them and have for as long as I can remember. While most of my paintings are of people there is something more innocent and carefree about painting animals. I love how there are so many different breeds! While the casual observer might think that one golden retriever is the same as the next, I get to see their individual quirks as I paint them. Every animal has their own personality and I love the challenge of capturing it to the fullest.
How long does it take to create a portrait?
I would say every portrait varies in the time it takes me. I tend to mostly use watercolor which may not be the most forgiving but does dry very quickly. This allows me to usually finish them within a day or two. The more detail, the longer it takes, especially if it includes a background.
It definitely can. I tend to ask the owner to send me as many high quality pictures of their animal just so I can see from all angles and be as accurate as possible to the texture and shading of the pet‘s fur.
What is the most unusual pet you have been asked to paint?
Up until this point I’d say a gecko named Duke. He was adorable so it made my job easy. I haven’t had to paint anything too wild for my pet portraits, but I do tend to paint a wide variety of animals in my other paintings. So if you have any pet hippos or lemurs you want me to paint, I am game!
Are cats or dogs easier to paint? Or do you prefer to paint one type of pet more?
Cats and dogs are probably on the same level of difficulty when it comes to painting. Although I adore cats, I own a dog so I think I am slightly biased towards painting dogs.
Do you ever use any medium other than watercolor?
Yes, I sure do! Every now and then I will get a commission to create a portrait using acrylic or oils. I find acrylic pops the colors a bit more and oils add more depth and detail, the final look is really up to the client. The other difference is when I do use watercolor the portrait will be on a special paper and for acrylic and oils it will be done on a canvas.
Now the surprise: one lucky reader will win a custom watercolor of the pet of their choice! Just follow the instructions below for your chance to win!
This post is also part of the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like A Dog.
I was not given any monetary compensation to write this post. However, I did receive a free portrait of Sadie to write about.
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