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Triple Terrier Portrait in pastel

These three lovely little terriers have the best owners ever! It’s official.

I met their owners when exhibiting at the Spring Show in Malvern last May when they happened across my pet portraits stand. After seeing my other terrier portraits on display, they just knew they had the best photo ever for me to use.

Deciding what to order!

triple terrier portraits reference

This is the first time I’ve ever had a triple portrait where the photo reference used was as it was, not from separate images put together but from one using lots of bribes and a very patient human managing the near impossible and getting them all to sit together. In fact nothing from the original image was changed, nothing removed. It was an excellent reference. Sometimes owners don’t have a photo in mind so I offer a photo reference shoot at my studio, it’s fabulous to meet my subjects in the fur plus clients can see where the action takes place. Sadly sometimes a pet has already passed away so less clear photos are all that remain or I am asked to use multiple photos to put pets together all of which are fine, we can work through it all.

Sometimes clients aren’t even sure what size dog portraits they want. It doesn’t have to be decided immediately. I can take a booking fee and suggest clients look through my animal art galleries to chose pastel paintings or charcoal drawings, also go home to see where a portrait will be displayed. The owners of these lovely little terriers knew where they wanted to hang the portrait so were able to choose the size they wanted on the day of booking, a lovely 16×20 inch image (mounts and frames add further to the size) so it would be a wonderful centrepiece to their room.

How the triple terrier portrait came to life

triple terrier portrait stage 1

So I started with my line drawing. I used a white coloured pencil to create my sketch as it shows through a couple of layers of pastel. I need all the help I can get these days with my eyesight! I used anthracite pastelmat, my favourite colour of this paper, it seems to take so many layers so I can really build up my fur. As I work my magic I send regular updates to my clients, they can check every stage, offer advice, ask for alterations as I go along to ensure the final piece is perfect.

The background was a lovely shiny leather sofa. Being black it would really contrast against three almost white terriers. I decided to use panpastels to create it as it was such a big portrait at 16×20 inches, they would block it in much more quickly. I only used a few black and greys and it soon filled in in no time.

As you can see the panpastels worked a treat for my pet portraits commissions as they really blended well and gave the impression of a shiny surface, next onto those terrierists!

Again I used panpastels to block in these little ones. They are Holly, Dylan and Benny from left to right. The pans really helped lay down the base layers, covering the colour of the pastel paper allowing the tooth to take many layers of pastel pencil strokes on top to give the impression of fur. You can see how the pencil layers have been added to Benny on the right compared to just the panpastels on Dylan in the middle. I also love to hear a little about my subjects, furry owners love to tell the story behind their pets plus readers love to get to know them too! Here is what my clients had to say – 


Benny and Dylan were born on 20.10.2012. They are brothers from the same litter.  We collected them on 07.12.2012.  Benny was 800g and Dylan was 1.1KGs in weight when we had them.  We got them from an older lady in Catherine De Barnes in Solihull.  We saw the Mum and Dad and sister from a previous litter for them, and they were the last two from a litter of five.  Benny was the runt from the litter.   The Boys were about 7 weeks old when we had them.  The Boys are both Jack Russell Terriers. Both of them settled in very quickly and have become characters in their own rights


So I continued with my pastel pencils building up more fur. I worked from right to left, this helps prevent smudging even though I use a mahl stick although sometimes I don’t do this if something catches my eye and I can’t wait to get there! This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is triple-terrier-portraits-in-pastel-800x661.jpg

So Dylan is near enough done, just the very cute little Holly to go now. Got steam coming off my pencils!
triple terrier portrait completed

Holly was born 02.07.2014 (we think this is what the vet nurse estimated when she had her first check up).  We got Holly from a family in Walsall who we think were just breeding puppies for the money.  There was a house full of puppies and kids when we collected her.  She was tiny and we think about three months old.  We saw the mum and dad for Holly who is a Jack Terrier Shizue Cross diluted.  Her dad was 3/4 Shizue and 1/4 jack.  Her mum was full JRT.  We always say we rescued Holly, as she has a bad start compared to the boys although she has turned out OK in the end.

And finally, these three little cuties are all done. It took a fair few hours to do. They travelled with me to a show where I worked on them throughout two days and their owners came to see how the work in progress was going in person, they were very enthusiastic about how things were coming together so I knew I was on target. Clients are more than welcome to visit me at an in progress stage too!
framed triple terrier portrait

Benny – he has a big personality. He thinks he is a big dog, in a small body. He loves to snuggle at night, and bury himself under loads of blankets.  He thinks he is in charge, but really this is Dylan. Dylan – he is the protector of the trio.  Dylan loves his food, and eating anything he should not – bugs, worms, slugs, snails, leaves, moss, twigs, and he gets plenty of food and his treats. Dylan is very happy in his own world compared to the other two, although he takes time to get to know strangers, where Holly and Benny are more friendly on first meetings of new people. Holly – she is very talkative and makes lots of noise.  She loves to bring a toy to you when she greets you, and gets very excited to see us, if we have been out or at work, or even down the town to the shops.  Holly is the one who lets us know when the phone rings, or if someone is at the door, or if she hears a neighbour in the garden.  She is the one who wants all the attention if we have visitors or if we are playing tuggies with the boys. They all love their food, and sweeties, and also like cheese, apple, carrot and strawberries, chicken, beef and sausage. They loves going for walks, and it is certainly a work out with three terriers on leads, I sometimes think I am the master puppeteer. They all like to pose for the camera, especially Dylan.  The way we get the three together is with lots of treats and attempts and then pick the best one from about 30 or 40 shots from our phone camera. From the moment each one of them has come into our lives, it has brightened it from that moment.  They can be hard work sometimes, but we would not be with out them.  They have all made our house a home.


triple terrier portrait engraved plaque
I arranged framing for my clients, they chose a fabulous silver leaf frame which was huge and very stately. I use a Fine Art Guild approved framer who can see a portrait and know what will suit it. Also they asked for an engraved plaque to be added with the furries names on, it looked fabulous. It was lovely when they came to visit to collect the portrait in person. I was able to give my clients a tour around our smallholding and I was very impressed when they knew what muscovy ducks were and that they lived near a tractor manufacturer so they found our little mini farm very interesting! I offer free UK postage but it’s just so wonderful to see my clients in person and offer a little bit of an unveiling ceremony to make the hand over an event and something special. My posted portraits are gift wrapped as well so if someone can’t make it in person it’s still very exciting and special. 

And what can I say, Paul did himself proud again and managed to get the trio to pose with their portrait! He obviously knows how to direct these furries, isn’t he clever! It’s so nice to see where my artwork goes to and I think it looks amazing in situ over their wonderful fire place.

I was left a glowing customer review for my terrier portraits

We met Karie Ann at the Malvern Spring show 2018 and immediately fell in love with her work. We ordered a commission and collected it from her studio. Karie Ann is a truly talented individual. The work she had created for us is truly amazing. She provided regular updates as the commission developed and on completion it was framed and a small name plaque added as part of our request. The work she has created is of our three terriers. Karie Ann has captured their characters and spirit and we are truly thrilled with the completed work. It takes our breathe away every time we look at it. Karie Ann is a wonderful and genuinely warm individual, who takes great pride in the work she produces. Definitely Recommend Karie Ann as an artist. Thank you

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Feel free to visit my  gallery where you will find lots of completed dog portraits but if you like to see how they are made, visit my dog art blog posts where I show step by step updates from the beginning to end of each piece and don’t forget I offer worldwide pet portraits commissions.

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