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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Rare portrait in progress 2 - The tracking harness

I'm working on the harness in this Grisaille (single-color) portrait of red Doberman "Rare".

Katie and Rare had one of those truly rare “soul-mate” connections; that special heart dog that you will miss for the rest of your life. From the time Katie and I began talking about Rare’s portrait, she was clear what photo she wanted me to use. In telling me about how devastated she was losing Rare she wrote, “… Rare beat a LOT of specials and took most, if not all, of her majors at Doberman Specialties, which is quite coveted. She was a sight to behold in the breed ring. But her true passion was scent work. She was absolutely obsessed with it. She still got all charged up about it to the day she died…all I had to say was “find it!” and THAT look came out. My heart died with her.”

In going over the details of the portrait I asked Katie whether she wanted me to straighten out the tracking line that is wrapped around Rare’s foreleg. In the photo Katie’s feet and legs are behind Rare, going in the opposite direction from Rare, as though Rare had switched direction in front of her….searching for the scent. Katie replied,

“The harness/leash stays as you have it here. This was the ONLY time Rare became animated and gave off this intense expression, from the minute the harness was on or if she even THOUGHT it was coming on. It is her LOOK, eyes and expression that hypnotizes me.” 

Colored pencil portrait of a Doberman in shades of brown, in progress


CH Old Drum’s Vintage Whiskey Ridge CGC ROM 

3/2/2011 - 5/30/2023

Prismacolor pencil on Fabriano Tiziano paper

17 x 21 inches

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