French
"An Antique collector's Dachshund"
In the spring of 1998, I drew a dachshund portrait that had a great success (you can see its story and enlarged image in the drawings gallery). As it was exhibited in the Paris Country-show, a very elegant American couple came to my stand. Monsieur was very fond of this dachshund portrait but Madame was crazy about the pencil portrait of a lady.
Madame tried to convince Monsieur that I should draw a portrait of her.
But Monsieur was only interested to commission me a portrait of his pet dog.
So Madame tried to change his mind, saying that I should paint a portrait of her with the dachshund in her arm.
Monsieur didn't even hear her.

The scene was really amusing.
As the dachshund seemed very young, I suggested to wait a year for his portrait. Thirteen months later, I arrived in their wonderful Parisian flat on Boulevard Saint Germain to take photos of the teckel. This flat was like Ali Baba's cave, full of treasures from around the world: Imari's porcelaines and chinas, tanagras statues, silver candelabras on the furnitures but also everywhere on the floor ... They had bought a huge castle in Georgia and were stocking all the furniture in Paris.
I took a few photos of the young dachshund and came back home. In my workshop, thinking of this extraordinary flat, I had an idea. "I should paint the dog among these treasures". To explain my aim, I sketched the painting on a post-it note and phoned my client to take a new appointment. He loved the idea... Three months later, my portrait was finished. My photographer took photos of the painting and I sent one of them to my client.
But as I was looking at the photo, I found that this painting was too smooth and didn't look like my usual work. So I went back to work and spent 6 more days engraving the golden bronze of the candlelabra, sharpening the shadows and accentuating the contrast of the overall painting.
When my client saw the completed picture a month later, he exclaimed in French with his delicious American accent:
"Oh! but it's 100 times more beautiful than on the photo !"
You can imagine how happy I was.
It's so easy to give pleasure ! Those words paid me for that 6 days.
This is the photo before the 6 days...
I don't have a photo of the finished painting.
Too bad, isn't it ?

Have a look at this watercolour portrait painted in june 2005
You 'll find interesting details

or

Follow the guide to see the naughty dog