Pet Profile: Theo

Today’s blog post is a bit different than usual, today we are going to do a profile piece on none other than the Birthday Boy Theo! (It does relate to painting in the end!)

Theo and his litter, he was the goofy looking one! 

Theo and his litter, he was the goofy looking one! 

Theo, still tiny.

Theo, still tiny.

Theodore was born this day 6 years ago, dubbed Rollie at birth, and I really can’t believe that my little Corgi is 6 already. He is technically a mixed breed dog known as an Augie, a mix between a Corgi and a Mini Aussie. He is 7/8 Corgi and only 1/8 Mini Aussie, so I just default to Corgi.

Theo is my athlete, all 20 lbs of him. He loves nothing more than fetch, he lives for it. I will be lying in bed and be brought a ball, a bone, or anything his little mouth can pick up that he thinks should be thrown. He perks up all happy and just stares until you throw it or he will push (he knows this command as I am too lazy to move forward to get his items) it at you. It can get annoying but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Theo’s best dog friend is probably Rainier, my 9 year old Corgi. He has just known her practically his whole life so he is okay with her. Theo seems to hate :( most other dogs though, he just thinks he is bigger than his britches in this sense, as most other dogs could body slam him. This hate includes Atlas the German shepherd puppy that joined the family last year this time (Atlas loves Theo though).

Theo, Rainier and Atlas in a very rare photo of all 3. 

Theo, Rainier and Atlas in a very rare photo of all 3. 

Knowing all this I feel like I can capture a little more of Theo when I paint him. I can really see what the expressions behind the photos I am working from. That is why I really like to learn as much about the subjects I am painting, allowing me to have a greater understanding of them, and let that show in the painting.

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Theo 6x6 Painting by Kendra Aldrich.jpg
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Always majestic...

Always majestic...

Anyway, Happy Birthday Theodore!

Photo Tips for Getting Great Pet Photos

The photographs I receive and use as references for my paintings are a large part of the painting process as a whole. Since I work from photos, the completed portrait depends on the quality of the photos you send me! When available send photos that are high quality and taken with a digital camera. 

For a close up portrait of your pet, make sure you fill up the viewfinder with your pet, rather than taking a far off photo that you have to zoom in on. This will make sure we can see the details.

For a close up portrait of your pet, make sure you fill up the viewfinder with your pet, rather than taking a far off photo that you have to zoom in on. This will make sure we can see the details.

Paintings can be goofy! A good photo does not always have to be a serious one. 

Paintings can be goofy! A good photo does not always have to be a serious one. 

•  Take photos outdoors, on a fair day, in early morning or late afternoon, or indoors in a bright and well-lit room. Taking photos in natural light, preferably in the shade to prevent harsh shadows, will help reflect the true coloring of your pet. 

•  Take the photos in a place where your pet is comfortable being themselves, such as in your yard, in the windowsill, etc. 

•  Have someone help. One person should be free to take the photo and someone else to pose or entertain the pet.

•  Get down or up to pet eye-level to take your pet’s photos. Remember that the eyes are the most expressive part of an animal’s face! This is helpful for creating good perspective, and this will translate best to canvas. 

•  Take lots of photos, from many different angles and different poses. 

•  If your pet is dark-colored, try to take photos in front of lighter backgrounds; if your pet is light-colored, try to take photos in front of darker backgrounds. In general, keep backgrounds simple and uncluttered is really helpful. 

•  Photographing your pet on a hard surface such as wood flooring, concrete or windowsills is ideal as it allows us to see their paws. 

•  Use a camera with an automatic focus. Animals move quickly and often, and adjusting the manual focus can take a little time.

•  Let your pet take breaks and act natural, sometimes tiring them out before a photo session makes for some great smiles! 

•  Don’t forget to pay your model! Treats, toys, love and affection are all good payment!