Dog Illustration – Australian Shepherd

Dog Illustration – Australian Shepherd

As I come to the last illustrations for my book project, I have been enjoying a brief sidestep and change of pace to work with a new client, Koala Eco. Creating a sweet illustration of ‘Matilda’, my clients own Australian Shepherd, this realistic dog illustration will be used on the packaging of their excellent dog wash products. I have really enjoyed developing the artwork with them, working to capture the personality of such a sweet puppy and I wanted to share some of the process with you here.

I particularly liked the profile and objectives of this company too.

‘Koala Eco harnesses the wild power of nature and merges it with science, marrying powerful Australian botanicals and plant-derived ingredients with research-backed evidence. Developed in collaboration with specialist chemists, each formula works as well or better than the chemical alternative and each product is unexpectedly beautiful to use. Jessica and Paul are on a mission to bring truly natural products into the mainstream. They believe that many people would like to make more sustainable, natural product choices, but nagging beliefs that ‘eco’ options compromise on efficacy and require too much effort to find and to buy stand in their way. The aim is for Koala Eco to fill the gap. And it seems to have struck a chord, with a large and ever-growing fan base devoted to the brand’ 

I believe they have lots of good stuff going on in their mix so I am more than pleased to get on board, helping another vision come to fruition. So with my brief in hand, I combined many reference images of Matilda to capture just the right pose and mood for the illustration. Rendering the sketch in graphite as a start, I familiarised myself with the subject and refined the drawing to get the project underway.

Working on a little smile, the pose and the markings to capture her likeness, the initial drawing (image 1) was then lightly coloured (image 2) to indicate the placement of the markings before being submitted to the client for fine tuning. Deciding on 2 small adjustments, I altered the ear on the right and positioned her front legs to be a little more front facing. With the changes approved (image 3) I moved on to the finished artwork, a detailed A4 illustration that will be positioned into the packaging design once it leaves my hands.

Here we have the drawing process from the initial graphite illustration to the lightly coloured illustration and finally, the adjusted and approved version, ready for the final render

Stepping into the finished artwork, we decide on watercolour as the medium. Its time to draw up and get the brushes wet! Layers and layers of delicate brushstrokes, subtly varying colours and tones gather to create the texture of the fur to the completed illustration. I must say I have never painted a blue and orange dog before, but thats what it is. Colour and nature is fascinating like that, full of magic, variations and surprises. I spent many extra hours on this piece, just wanting to get the detail, expression and outcome as nice as possible. The eyes are always so important but in this instance, we really focussed on the happy smile too. Here is the end result!

Australian Shepherd illustration in watercolour. ‘ The client is super happy with the final Matilda’ A perfect ending to a super cute project!

My Australian Shepherd illustration now graces the label of Koala Ecos lovely dow wash product… bringing another beautiful project to a happy close.