Meeting Duke you wonder why people are so instinctively scared of rottweilers. They are, of course, very strong and powerful dogs, giving them that majestic ‘don’t mess with me’ kind of look. I drew Duke some years ago, and he was just the most gentle, placid and balanced rottweiler I have ever met. He was in attendance at many of the ‘Meet and Greet’ dog training classes that we took our delinquent collie cross to, as he was owned by one of the helpers there. Never was there any concern about Duke, even though there were dogs of all sizes and different temperaments there.

The photograph I was given to draw the portrait from was my kind of heaven. It was a good size, at least postcard size, if I remember right, and was really well focussed so I could get all the tiny details. The only thing was perhaps the extreme lighting – it appeared to have been taken in brilliant sunshine, meaning there was the combination of glare and shadows. I can tone these extremes down to some extent when I draw a portrait, but I don’t like to veer away from the original too much as I am then having to put details in that I can’t actually see. That can potentially spell disaster for accuracy of likeness in some cases.

Not so here, though, all the details were clearly visible in the photograph, and having met the dog helped. The reaction I got when I presented the portrait was amusing – one of the comments was ‘You can touch his fur!’ . Mission accomplished 🙂


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