Methods

Ann works from photos. Whenever possible, she visits her subjects to take the photos. Not only does that allow her to get to know the animal better, but she’s able to photograph a  characteristic pose that will allow her to create an accurate illustration.

Note: If you’re interested in commissioning a portrait but it’s not possible for Ann to take the photos, she can work from your photos. It’s very important to provide the best photos possible in order for her to create an accurate drawing or painting – click here to see a sample photo, the finished portrait and to learn why good-quality photos are necessary. You can also download the photo guidelines document for more information on what Ann looks for when she’s taking photos. Ann also wrote an article about pet photography that appeared in the Sacramento Pet Gazette, click here to read it.

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Realistic Portraits
Ann offers a number of options. The medium used for your portrait depends
on the pet’s characteristics and your preference – Ann will discuss these options
with you to determine which method will best capture your pet’s likeness.

Scratchboard results in a drawing with lots of texture & detail. After the scratching is completed, they can be enhanced with India ink washes or color as in Sparkles and Rommel.

Mixed media on Aquabord (textured white scratchboard) results in a full-color portrait with texture created by scratching the surface of the board. Ann uses ink, watercolor & color pencil for these portraits. The portraits of Cohan and Brogan are examples of this technique.

Ink & Ink Wash on Claybord (white scratchboard) results in a black, white & grey toned drawing.  Although the result is a “black & white” drawing, she’s able to show the nuances of an animal’s coloring and the final drawing has a nice warm tone and plenty of texture & detail. In some cases, she can tint certain areas of one of these portraits with watercolor, as she did with Wonkers.

Graphite Pencil is another option. Breezy is a graphite pencil portrait. Merlin is a pencil portrait enhanced with some color pencil.

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Paintings with Petzazz
Ann works in watercolor on Yupo (a synthetic paper made of polypropylene). The slick, non-absorbent surface of the paper allows the colors to remain vibrant and to flow and blend differently than on traditional watercolor paper. Ann chooses a limited palette of bright colors and  paints quickly. Once the paint is dry, she may add some color pencil for emphasis. The nature of the Yupo doesn’t allow for lots of detail or re-working – that’s why it’s perfect for use in these “interpretive” portraits. Although these portraits are looser and less detailed, they are realistically proportioned and will capture your pet’s character. Ann will work with you to determine the best color palette to represent your pet. Jack & Red Horse is an example of this technique. Read this blog post to see how Ann created a Petzazz greyhound portrait.

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Art Boards
Ann works in ink, watercolor and color pencil on cold-pressed watercolor paper that’s been mounted to a 3/8″ thick board. These portraits are a hybrid between the realistic style and the Petzazz style – some level of detail, but with bright colors. Ann will work with you to determine the best color combinations for your pet. Purple Pug & Sydney are examples of this technique.

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Miniature Pencil Portraits
Ann works in graphite pencil on bristol – a heavyweight paper with a smooth finish. She
may include a bit of color pencil for accent – see “Feline Intensity“, where she used color pencil over the graphite on the eyes & nose and in a few other places. These small format portraits measure 2.5″ x 3.5”.