Capturing the true likeness of Angus
the Golden Labrador
The Story behind the portrait
My client Georgia Sellars commissioned me to draw her fiancé’s stunningly beautiful Labrador Retriever, Angus. After discovering my work on Instagram, Georgia knew that a bespoke dog portrait of Angus would make the perfect surprise Christmas gift for her fiancé.
Georgia sent me a collection of photos of Angus and told me all about him, giving me a wonderful insight into Angus’ sweet nature and lovable personality, and most importantly the special bond he shares with his owner George.
Finished portrait of Angus
Learning about Angus
Angus is a 12-year-old working gundog and Georgia described him as “the best dog there is!”. He shares an unbreakable bond with his owner George, so I knew this portrait was going to be a very memorable gift. In fact, Angus means so much to George that he intended to make Angus his best man at their wedding.
Angus is a highly trained and very skilled working gun dog, and loves nothing more than being out in the fields doing what Labrador Retrievers do best. Despite being technically retired, he’s still raring to go and will jump in the back of the truck before anyone can stop him.
It’s not all hard work with Angus though – when the days’ work is done, he’s more than happy to settle down for a good old snuggle. In fact, he’s quite partial to sprawling out on the bed leaving his owner with only a corner to himself.
Angus has the very regal kennel name of Polar King, which he’s lived up to in his later years as his fur has become lighter and lighter.
Angus out on a game shoot
Capturing Angus’ true likeness
It was important that Angus’ pet portrait captured his love of the outdoors and brought across his gentle, loving, and intelligent nature. I worked closely with Georgia to come up with a composition which captured just that. The blue of the background gave the portrait the feeling of Angus being outside, whilst contrasting really nicely with his light golden coat.
Choosing the right photo for me to work from was very important, as it had to capture Angus’ loving, gentle and loyal nature, as well as the intelligent, hard-working and focused aspect of his personality. I worked with Georgia to select a photo which we felt reflected his personality perfectly.
Maintaining the element of surprise
As with any surprise dog portrait, I made sure to keep everything discrete and firmly under wraps until Georgia had gifted it to her fiancé. This meant no posts to social media or my website, and the portrait was delivered to Georgia’s work address so as to not raise suspicion. It made a wonderful surprise gift come Christmas Day and George was absolutely over the moon with it.
Timelapse movie showing Angus' portrait being drawn. Several days of drawing are condensed into this 25 second video!