Wednesday 26 April 2023

Rocky & Alfie

A pastel pencil, head and shoulder painting of two dogs, a Collie and a German Shepherd

A while ago, when the second of my nephew's two dogs passed away, my sister asked me if I'd be able to do a painting for him that included both dogs together. Obviously I agreed to do what I could and asked her to send me some photo's. 

When I received the photo's I was far from happy. Rocky, the small collie, was never looking at the camera, and all the pictures of Alfie, the German Shepherd, had his fur drenched with water and plastered down. I couldn't see any way I could get a decent painting from the references I had. I considered using artistic licence to paint Alfie dry, with ears up and soft, fluffed up fur, but doubted my artistic skills would stretch that far.

I spoke to my sister about my dilemma and suddenly things didn't seem so hopeless. She explained that Alfie was a terror for diving in the river. Every time he went out for a walk it was his destination of choice and he always came home soaked through. Even other walkers my nephew met along the way knew Alfie as the dog that swam in the river. Getting wet was his character and it would be nice to remember him that way. As for Rocky, despite his strong name he was a timid dog who looked up to Alfie and followed him everywhere .... except in the river.

Other animal portraits on my web site


  1. Awww, great portraits and story. Your nephew will love this.

  2. John, your expertise with the pencils is amazing. Your animal portraits are outstanding.

  3. Amazing portraits! And such a lovely gift to your nephew!

    1. Thank you very much Judy. I really appreciate your visit.

  4. Love the story to go with the portraits!


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