Recently, I had the pleasure of being guest judge and award sponsor in a local community photography contest - #ladnerisawesome on Instagram. I chose best pet photograph, and the winner received a professionally retouched and enhanced encaustic art portrait, using their winning photo of their dog Pongo.
Over the last year, every event I have attended where I displayed my pet portraits, I have had a number of people tell me they wish they had gotten a professional portrait of their best friend before they lost them. Do you have a few digital images saved of them? Or even printed old photographs, or negatives? Then I can still help you create a special portrait that helps you celebrate the love and joy they brought to your life.
Pongo’s portrait is an example of my process.
First, I help you choose a good starting photograph - reasonably in-focus, with the subject nice and prominent, and good workable composition.
Next, I do some retouching. For Pongo here, the original photograph had a little bit of motion blur - the cell phone camera or dog moved slightly. Not so obvious on a tiny phone screen, but would be when we print the photo larger. I was able to cancel out that motion by working carefully in Photoshop. Then, I cleaned up the eye goop, so it doesn’t distract from his big beautiful eyes. I also cleaned up the wall in the background to minimize distraction, and blurred it to help the dog’s face pop.
Then, I enhanced the shadows and contrast - bringing some brightness into the face and eyes, giving nice, clean separation to that adorable black nose, and highlighting the “I’m a good boy” ears. The final step is professionally upsizing the portrait so that it won’t print pixelated.
Finally - the best part - I printed the portrait on archival cotton rag paper using pigment inks, mounted it on a wood panel, and finished it with encaustics. Encaustic finish involves melting beeswax and damar resin onto the surface of the portrait, ensuring it is preserved for a lifetime and beyond, also giving it a beautiful texture.
So there you have it - from a cell phone pic, to one of a kind encaustic wall art. Look at that sweet face, memorialized for eternity!
I also create wall art using portraits of our humans, too. Check out my Memory Encaustic page for more information. Pricing starts at $250, and is quoted on a per-project basis, depending on how much retouching is needed, and the final artwork size. Consultation is always free and a necessary first step to define the scope of our work together!