I really enjoying drawing and sketching. A few weeks back I picked up a charcoal stick after a long absence and sketched away at my cat Mischief. I really liked these rough sketches and realized that I still had the ability and the passion for drawing animals. This reminded me that when I was studying I advertised to do pet portraits which resulted in several commissioned pastel artworks that I thoroughly enjoyed doing…
How they work is: the commissioner sends me several photographs of their dog/cat. I then choose one but if I do not think any of the photos will work, this step takes a little longer. Once the photo is chosen I ask for the owner to write me a short story about the pet. This allows me to ‘know’ the dog or cat.
My aim for a pet portrait is not to make the picture a mirror image of the animal in a different medium (Photoshop can do that) but rather that the personality of the animal must come through. You must be able to look at the picture and like when you look in the face of a dog and you just know he is naughty, you must be able to look at the portrait and know the same. This is my favourite part becuase when I finish an artwork I feel as though I have made a new friend. It is also wonderful when you hand it over and the commissioner is more often than not, happy to the point of tears.
I grew up in Botswana and I think this is where my love for animals grew roots. (I always wanted to be vet but my biology marks did not agree). When I find a wonderful picture of an animal that I admire, such as the endangered Mountain Zebra that I think is beautiful with his brown lines and softer silhouette, I just have to draw it. Artworks such as the the Hippo I have sold at local galleries.
I have also done some oil and gouache artworks. This oil painting of Kalk Bay Harbour (below) is about 1m x 0.5m. It was the first oil piece I ever did.
I have decided to open an etsy shop called ‘Wendren’s Art’ where I can showcase my sketches, drawings and artworks and advertise to do pet portraits.