This image is of my sketch for future portrait of 2 dogs commission. From many photos which I received of those dogs I could use 4 only, where the photos were taken in good light and on eye level. I had to combine faces in some photos with bodies from another 2 photos – to have best facial expressions. And I thought that my sketch highlighted the dogs beauty and added an emotional situation: it looks like two of them had “conversation” but did not really agree with each other. After submitting that sketch I learned that person who commissioned that portrait wanted the dogs to be in different poses. And that means that I will be waiting for more photos of them in that specific pose, as my client requested. And hope that photos are taken with good light, on eye level and in high definition.
Of course I can “make up” positions and shapes, etc. But then the dogs will not be your dogs! Something will be missing. I think that is important to understand.
Obviously dogs will not pose for artist to paint them. I usually ask for several photos of the dogs for me to study their character, colors, shapes etc. Then I select one or two of the photos which could be a good reference photo and paint the portrait trying to capture the personality and character in their eyes , faces and shapes. So the portrait would have emotional connection to the owner.
When I have request for portrait of 2 or more dogs – I will make sketch with composition which I think is the best. Unless I have good reference photo in exact position which my client desires.
I will post more later about recommendations for taking a good reference photo of your pet. In that commission of dogs portrait the request was to reflect their characters and their adorable faces. Hence – the good light photos on the eye level and high resolution photos are required.
There is a lesson for me here also : an important reminder to myself: to make sure to ask if a client wants a certain exact composition or I have full freedom to select the best composition how I see it.