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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Reeve portrait in progress 4

In the last pic I shared, Reeve’s eyes and upper half of her head were finished. She is a red Border Collie. Here’s what Sheila wrote:

“Reeve was a very dark red when she came to us at 7 months. As red BCs get older they tend to fade. All the sun we get here in Hawaii hastens the fade. However, our mutual affection goes the opposite direction.”


In Sheila’s photos spanning 12 years I see Reeve’s deep chocolate coat when she was young, and her much lighter red-buff coat as a senior. Sheila and David wanted me to capture Reeve’s dark coat, and agreed when I said that I wanted to really bring out the red.


In my previous “in progress” pic, the light on Reeve’s forehead, on that particular shade of blue, made her look like I was portraying a Golden Retriever. I hadn’t done any of her white parts yet. David was concerned that I was portraying her too light. But I said, “Wait until the whole portrait is finished, then if necessary I’ll adjust it”.


Today I did her white muzzle. Putting in the white parts next to the brown makes her coat look darker. By comparison to the blue paper, her coat looks light…by comparison to white, her coat looks dark. Funny the way our eyes work.

Colored pencil head-study portrait of a red Border Collie, in progress

Colored pencil on blue Canson paper, 11 x 14 inches.


I’ve created 12 Border Collie portraits for Sheila over the past 23 years. You can see several of them in the DOGS Gallery on my website.



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