This is Harry Francis. He is no longer with us. For his portrait, a number of snap shot photos were mailed to me. It is always so hard to look at photos of a cherished pet and see memories that were shared with the family and other pets. When looking at the photos, one just jumped out at me. Harry was sitting next to another dog. He had his nose tilted up in the air the way the Irish Setter can do. The photo was small - but the emotion it provoked was huge.
Discussing the photos with his family, we all agreed this photo would be my primary reference material. When asking about the background, there was no preference. So, I started the painting and while looking at it, it was so crystal clear. Lets do the background just as it was in the photo. In the photo was a heavily wooded area. One could easily imagine a setter or two romping joyfully through the woods. I had been given the artistic freedom to choose the background. When I told Harry's family of the decision they were tickled. Turns out the woods were Harry's kingdom and his servants, the squirrels were kept strictly in line by his constant surveillance. I can only smile knowing now that Harry loved to be in that wooded area. It all turns out doesn't it. Thank you to his family for choosing me to paint this wonderful boy.