Illustrator and portrait artist Karl Edwards donated his talent to Spot’s raffle at the Top Dog Awards in January, the proceeds of which went to Oregon Dachshund Rescue. The winning raffle ticket went to Christiaan McPherson, who had just rescued a beautiful Doxie named Blu.
Spot would like to thank Karl Edwards for his generous contribution (the portrait is valued at $600), and to Christiaan for participating in the raffle in support of Oregon Dachshund Rescue.
About Karl Edwards
Descended from a family of California plein aire painters, dogs are Karl Edwards’s favorite subject, and he’s been doing their portraits for decades. Karl studied Old Master drawings and engravings and recalls as a young student filling page after page with straight lines in pen and ink to perfect his technical skills.
“Animals are challenging because they change and move,” says Karl. “It’s not enough to get a convincing likeness. There has to be a bit of interpretation to bring out the dog’s unique personality. Otherwise it’s just a photorealistic rendering with no soul. I like to emphasize pen strokes or paint. It’s a way to insert the hand of the artist and give the piece more vitality.”
Karl earned a degree in drawing from the California College of the Arts. After graduation he worked at the San Diego Zoo drawing exotic birds and reptiles. He says, “The variety of textures in feathers, scales or fur are far more interesting to paint than skin.”
For Karl, a dog portrait is collaborative. “It’s fun to meet the dog, discuss the project with the owner, and really connect. The sensibility of the owner is a big piece. Do you want a formal pose, or something humorous and lighthearted? Sometimes, the dog is deceased and the artwork is a memorial. We go over old photos and talk about what the dog was like. It’s a totally interactive process.”