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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Reeve portrait finished!

The portrait of Reeve is finally finished.

You may remember what I thought was the finished portrait, her people said looked too orange. In my last post I showed you what I was doing to make her coat more chestnut. It took quite a bit of fine-tuning with the help of the client.

I’m always amazed at the ability of clients to tell me what needs to be adjusted. Clients don’t have an “artist’s eye” and I don’t expect they’ll be able to tell me how it needs to be changed. But one thing they know very well is what their beloved dog looks like.

This picture shows 3 scans of the actual artwork, done at different points in time. On the left is the original “finished” artwork that was too orange. David wanted me to fix the color and also darken it: Reeve’s coat is a much darker red-brown. In the center is the result. David said it was still not as dark as Reeve’s actual coat. I cautioned him that if I darkened the light areas — like her forehead and bridge of her nose — too much, we would start to lose the definition of her facial features. I proceeded very carefully and when David saw the one on the right (the portrait as it is now) he wrote, “WOW! She's GORGEOUS!!!!!"

Three scans of a head-study portrait of a red Border Collie, in progress

Here is the final finished portrait. Below that is what Sheila and David wrote about sweet Reeve.

Sheila is a long-time Border Collie breeder.

Colored pencil head-study portrait of a red Border Collie

From Sheila:

Reeve, who is 12 now, is the sweetest and happiest Border Collie we've ever had. She's friendly but not pushy (unless you encourage her, in which case she'll climb right into your lap), obedient, patient, and polite. She loves any kind of attention, and loves to fetch but always gives way if another dog wants the object. She's also a beautiful dog, lovely head, correct, sound structure, abundant coat with pretty markings.

I got Reeve from a breeder who was conscientious about sound health and temperament because I wanted a bitch I could breed to similarly sound and beautiful male. I do wish I had been able to breed her to one of the two handsome Rook-Wren sons. I tried, but was not successful. I'm sure she would have had lovely puppies. I wanted a red dog because David loves red, and I wanted her to be his dog. They are devoted to each other.

Now that I've said all this, it makes me appreciate even more how lucky we are to have her.

David added:

Reevie is indeed as sweet as she can be. Loving doggie that she is, she’s also great at licking kiss-face (which Sheila doesn’t really appreciate, but which is JUST FINE (up to a point 🙂 ) with me. In all the years she’s been with us I don’t recall her ever doing something “bad.” She likes to bark a bit in the morning to remind us about going for a walk . . . Late afternoons when I drive up and around to the garage coming home from work, she has a very bright and eager “Welcome Home, Pop!” series of barks, which are notably different from her morning “go for a walk” barks.


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