This is the story of Zip, a young wire haired Jack Russell Terrier from a good family.
It is a sad one, because handsome Zip became very ill and had to be put down.
I made a life-size memorial icon in his honor. I have made several of these, for beloved dogs who have gone to the Happy Hunting Grounds. Each one is a labor of love.
I begin with photos and drawings.
I had a lot from the time I knew him, but Google images contributed some generic Jack Russells for body detail.
I played around with poses, but decided on the classic “sit,” and made a life size drawing.
After rubbing graphite onto the back of the drawing, I transferred it to a board, cut it out with a saber saw, sanded and primed it.
I decided in the end to ‘flop’ Zip and paint him facing to the right.
After many hours, layers of paint, small brushes for his wiry hairs, a careful attention to his eyes and gaze and several coats of matte varnish…
Zip looked back from the Mother Fern in my garden.
He now ‘lives’ with his family and helps to remind them everyday of their Good Dog Zip.
I have been making these animal portraits for many years. Here are a few more:
My sister’s beloved German Shepherd, Bear. Painted in 1990.
My mother’s Border Collie, Ben.