After my last portrait, an involved project that took well over a month (mostly due to lack of confidence!), I moved on to a commission that is second nature to me. I think I could paint yellow Labs in my sleep, I’ve done so many. In any pet portrait, the eyes are the most important element. In the photo I worked from for this painting, the flash blanked out his eyes, so I faked it. Then again, I didn’t fake it. I’ve seen those soulful eyes before.
I think every yellow Lab I paint has a little bit of Tank in it. My beloved Lab of 13 ½ years, Tank has been gone since 2003, but I’ll never forget him. And that’s how the people who owned Rookie, shown here, felt.
How do I know how they felt? From the heartfelt note that came to me with his photos. The fact that the woman kept a newspaper article about my artwork for several years before she contacted me. And, as people always do when she saw the final work, she told me a story about this dog her family loved so much. It’s not just a picture, it’s a precious memory.
I get it. So this one is a salute to Tank, Tally, Rookie, Angel, Justin, Taz, Charlie, Corky, Seigfried, Buddy and all the other other much-loved Labs I’ve painted over the years.
© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.