Pastel Pet Portrait: Sadie Lynn

Sadie, 8 x 10 Pastel on Velour

Sadie, 8 x 10 Pastel on Velour

I completed another commission portrait. This is Sadie Lynn, the Border Collie. She is from the same family as Achilles the Doxie. I really wish the images that I post were of the same quality as the original. The colors are close, but the softness of the velour paper never really pops in the digital image. Sadie Lynn was a joy to paint and really just came alive on her own as I applied more layers of pastel. All that black in her coat has layers of dark blue and purple under it, which creates the rich black color. To just apply black causes a more flat looking coat on the dog. There are more than eight layers on this dog.

Pastel Pet Portrait: Achilles


Achilles, 8" x 10" Pastel on Velour

It’s been awhile since I posted anything. Shamefully, when I’m in school it seems I never have time to paint. But schools out for Summer… and I’m back to digging in to my pastels. This is Achilles the Dachshund. This little guy was great fun to paint. I loved that blue eye… I believe my first experience painting a blue eye. My biggest challenge with Achilles is the fact that his coat is mottled with spots and I wanted to make sure I got them all in the right place. This was also the first time I had not met the dog in person and worked entirely off a client’s provided image. I’m delivering the painting to Achilles’ owner tomorrow morning all framed and ready to hang. Perhaps I’ll get to see Achilles in person at that time.

Pastel Pet Portrait: Siggi

Siggi, 9" x 11" pastel on velour

Siggi, 9" x 11" pastel on velour

Siggi is another talented Sheltie who runs agility with Dave at WAG. Some of Siggi’s championship titles include N-ATCH, C-ATCH AND C-ATE, from two different agility venues. Quite and accomplishment for this gentleman… especially since he had to overcome some difficulties from his younger years. Siggi runs with a signature head tilt, but never lets that stop him from putting on a great performance in the agility ring. This painting, which was completed in December 2011, was a bit of a challenge as Siggi has such a dark, silvery blue colored coat. His eyes are the darkest of any dog I’ve ever encountered and he sports a crooked blaze. There are more layers of coat painted on this boy than most I’ve worked with. It was fun to watch him come to life in this painting.

Pastel Pet Portrait: Jag

Jag, 8" x 10" Pastel on Velour

Jag, 8" x 10" Pastel on Velour

Here is my latest commissioned portrait. This is Jag. He’s an awesome Australian Shepherd, owned by Justine, with some 14 championship titles in Agility. According to Justine, “His latest ones are C-ATE (almost to C-ATE2), ADCH, PDCH, NATCH#3 and versatility NATCH#3, Sach, jch, tm-bronze, c-Mex, bronze-sm, Mx and mxj. The bronze ones are USDAA and the c-Mex is DOCNA (which are different venues in Agilty).”

I first noticed Justine and Jag running in Agility at the CPE Nationals in 2006. Jag’s enthusiasm bounced off of him and I believe he received one of the highest scores of the entire 3-day trial…  and to watch him run today is no different. I enjoyed painting him with all the wonderful colors and that happy expression that is simply Jag!

Pastel Pet Portrait: Nitro

Nitro Pastel

Nitro, 9" x 12" Pastel on Velour

This is Nitro… asleep on his favorite pillow, which is located in the office at WAG (Western Agility Group) in Elk Grove, CA where he spends his time waiting for his turn to run in whatever agility trial he happens to be entered in. Nitro belongs to Susan Rappillus and has some impressive Agility titles, such as: CATE, CATE-2, NATCH 7, Vers. NATCH 7, MX, MXJ, MAD. Although he looks so serene in this painting, he’s a lightning fast little dog on course .

Nitro's painting on his pillow

Here is a cute photo that Susan sent to me of Nitro’s painting on the pillow from his painting. Too cute!

Pastel Dog Painting: Magnum

Magnum, 12"x16" Pastel on Velour

Magnum lived with us for 12 short years. We called him our Safeway Food Pointer. He was the most compassionate boy I had ever met, but yet he drove us nuts with his love for food. One of his favorite events was to go swimming in the lake and he always had a big, silly grin on his face when he got to go. He made his journey to The Rainbow Bridge on my birthday, creating a final bond between us. Five years later I chose to spend my birthday honoring him with this pastel painting. It took awhile to get it done, but it will always remind me of those fun days watching him romp around in the water.

Pastel Pet Portrait: Fritz


Fritz, 8"x10" Pastel, ©2010 Meb Harris

Fritz is a 12-year-old Sheltie belonging to Susan, from WAG (Western Agility Group) in Elk Grove, CA. This boy has more Agility Championship titles than I can list in one post. To mention a few: CATE, CATE-2, CS-ATE, CS-ATE 2, CATCH, NATCH 13, Vers-NATCH 8, MEDAL 3 and Vers – Medal, MACH, ADCH, ATCH, and V-MEX.  Which includes all the major organizations that were around here more than a few years.  His biggest claim to fame when younger – he was the only dog at the time with 5 different venue Championships in Agility. Other dogs have now reached that success, but Fritz is a leader in that regard!

He is awesome to watch run agility and rarely misses a cue from Susan. Over the years my dog Jasmine and I usually followed Susan and Fritz in our Agility runs and I picked up some great handling skills watching this team, which was very helpful in obtaining our own Championship title (CATCH Jasmine!). I enjoyed capturing Fritz in this pastel painting, which I made a gift of to Susan as a thank you for her help over the years… whether she knew it or not. He is an amazing dog!

UPDATE: Fritz went to the Rainbow Bridge on November 14, 2011. He will truly be missed!

Pastel Pet Portrait: Kindle


Portrait of Kindle, 8" x 10" Pastel on Velour, ©2011 Meb Harris

I painted this portrait for Susan to give to her friend Sue as a birthday gift. I saw Sue yesterday at a dog agility competition and she had a big smile on her face. I also got to meet Kindle in the flesh. I had painted the portrait straight from photos that Susan provided. It was fun to see the actual dog after having studied her face for so long to get the details. Kindle is a beautiful, and very petite Sheltie with an adorable snaggle tooth… apparently her trademark. When her little lip gets caught she always has a cute smile on her face. I was so happy to have captured that in the portrait. Kindle loves to compete in agility and has achieved her CATCH title (CPE Agility Team Champion title).

Work In Progress

The Guardian, Pastel, 11.5" x 11.5",©2011 Meb Harris

This is a pastel painting on velour paper. The background is giving me grief…which happens to me with pretty much all my paintings, so I will be working more on that. I also have more work to do on the dog’s feet. And… of course, all the final tweaking!