Welcome to my pet and family portrait blog. If you have commissioned a portrait you can see how it is progressing. If you would like to commission me to paint your pet, family or friend then visit my site at www.katetugwellportraits.com
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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Button - West Highland Terrier

This new commission of Button, a west highland terrier, is for a highly detailed painting in acrylics on a large canvas board size 841 x 594 mm. The photo I'm working from was taken on a phone so there's not a huge amount of crisp information for me to work with but the client has sent me some other slightly bigger photos. I started by sketching Button's face onto the canvas board and created a rough tonal under-painting to mark areas of shadow. Then I added texture paste to the fur to create highlights and textural interest. A strong background colour has been painted in to enhance the highlights and now I'm starting the process of building up the subtle tones and colours in the fur. It's lovely working on a really large panel and a portrait at this size I'm hoping will be stunning.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Kate, you have captured my beautiful baby so well, her eyes are exactly perfect. I would like to take this opportunity and tell you a little a bit about Button.

    She was born on 21st July 2001 and on a much needed trip to Ikea in Croydon, Justin and I ventured up with some friends of ours and stumbled across a pet store in Coulsdon, Surrey so decided to take a look in as we had discussed getting a dog for a while.

    In a caged off area at the back of the store were two West Highland Terriers, Me being a complete softie put my fingers in and the little girl walked over and nipped the end of my finger. That was it, She was mine.

    We brought her home the same day totally unprepared for what lay ahead. We still hadn't figured out what to call her and then all of a sudden it dawned on us, as we kept commenting on her little button nose and there you have it Button was now named.

    During her life with us, she spread so much love and everyone that came into contact with her left with a permanent reminder of her funny antics, stubbornness but most of all her vigour for life and love.

    She was treated like the princess that she was, she enjoyed watching TV, walks, food and most of all sitting in the sunshine. Button was an ardent fan of Eastenders and during the closing scenes, when the duff duffs are played she would get increasingly excitable.

    Button absolutely loved the camera and so many photos of her were taken, but unfortunately over the years, these photos have been lost or the only copies that we have left of them are not a good size to be printed off.

    In 2008, Button was diagnosed with Bronchial Pneumonia and Pleurisy and was admitted to the wonderful Harbour Veterinary Clinic in Portsmouth, where they administered all sorts of treatment for her. the attention and care that she received there was first rate. After being in they're care for two nights, they contacted us to say that she could come home but they had some bad news for us.

    During the examinations and tests on Button they discovered that she had Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (Westie Lung) and that this was a terminal disease. They advised us that she could be treated but it would not change the diagnosis and that we should prepare ourselves for the worse. This could happen at any time, a few weeks to a few months most.

    Obviously, we were absolutely devastated but took comfort in the fact that she was home with us, the only thing that we discovered later was that no one had actually told Button that she was so poorly.

    Over the next three years, Button was the same little princess that she always had been and continued to enjoy life, albeit with lots of medication including asthma inhalers and steroid inhalers etc.

    In August of 2011 Button was staying at her Nannies while we were on holiday in Turkey, she took a bad turn, she was immediately taken to the vets who said that she was tired and a bit under the weather.

    Upon our return from Turkey we immediately met with the veterinary clinic who advised us that she was starting to deteriorate and that she probably won't make Christmas.

    Then sadly on the 12th September my beautiful little princess rapidly deteriorated and passed away in my arms.

    There is not a day goes by that I don't think of her as she was such an important part of our lives and we wanted to commission a portrait that would capture the very essence of her, our favourite picture was taken on a camera phone and was too small to enlarge with clarity.

    We researched the internet for an artist and came across Kate Tugwell and were immediately struck by the quality of her work, I made contact with Kate and advised her of our requirements and that the picture we wanted was not of the best quality but that we had plenty of others available.

    We are so impressed with the work so far that we are experiencing a whole range of emotions, tears of sadness and remembrance and joy that she has so lovingly captured our princess.