In July I was commissioned to do a very special portrait of a beloved seeing eye dog that had passed on at the ripe old age of 11. This was no ordinary commission, it was on canvas, in acrylic, and it was huge! 1.6 meters by 1.3 meters. I have been using pastels for a number of years now. I knew how to paint, but never had I used it for a portrait commission, and never on such a large scale.
I always use black card for my portraits and so decided it would be best to start with a black canvas, I had to prime it with black gesso and leave it to dry between the two coats, this took a couple of days. During those few days I stared at the blank canvas and wondered how I was going to make my vision come to life before me. I'd watched a few you tube videos on painting scenery and animals in acrylics. My painting style developed into a hybrid somewhere in between Bob Ross and Chuck Black!
6 weeks in and I completed my portrait. When I found myself hiding little animals in the forest, I knew it must be finished. The portrait was delivered yesterday evening, no easy feat with a portrait of that size! It received a warm reception, as did I, and I am sure he will remain in pride of place for many years to come. It was clear to me that the family recognized their dearly missed friend in my portrait, and my goal of capturing the life energy of this special being on canvas, had been achieved, so that each day he will be fondly remembered and continue to be a large part of their lives and hearts forever more.
Hi, my name is Chrystal Carter, I am a mother to three lovely girls. I emigrated with my husband to Australia in December 2014, and have been living the dream, ever since! We are settled in the Dandenong Ranges and I have recently set up my brand new home art studio , in the heart of the hills, Tecoma. Here, I can follow my life long dream of being an artist drawing another of my greatest passions, animals, in particular, peoples beloved pets. I have always been fascinated by animals, nature and wildlife and where better to pursue my passions than here in Australia, and it certainly hasn't disappointed me! Follow me as a take on this new venture and brave new world, together with my wonderful family, and not forgetting my furry companions, Vin the Cat and Juno the Dog!