A Pet Portrait of Odin, For Kevin

A few weeks ago, my comics colourist and dear friend, Kevin Strang, had to say goodbye to his beloved yellow lab, Odin. It was a very difficult thing to do. Odin had been a fixture in Kevin’s studio for many years–and was part of the furniture. One of the things I remember about Odin–besides his love for Kevin, the outdoors, water, and chasing sticks, was his affinity for squeaky toys. He wouldn’t chew them; he would gently take them in his mouth and savour the sound. His rubber chicken was a favourite. He would make the most awful racket with that chicken–with a look on his face of pure satisfaction. He was a wonderful dog; a beauty. His loss was very hard on the family.

I had such a good time painting Keira for my friend, Laurel that I asked Kevin and Karen if I could try painting Odin. This is the result.

Portrait of Odin the yellow lab

A fun note: I forgot to paint in the whiskers on the left-hand side, and noticed this just before we sent the package to Kevin. The photo was taken before this change. I think it’s a funny bit of info. Adding to that is the anxiety I felt, wondering just what Odin’s whiskers were actually like, because they didn’t show up too well in the photo I was using…and I couldn’t remember Odin having whiskers at all! I called Kevin and asked if Odin had whiskers. Kevin said “he was old, so he had a few.” This made me laugh. I’m old and I have a few, too!

Anyway, I have discovered that painting a pet is as serious as painting any portrait, and if you can get a good likeness…you’ve done OK.