Shan Hoffmann is an American artist now living right here in London, whose work is simply beautiful. She trained at Parsons School of design in New York where she studied in the art of painting. As you can see she is able to capture feelings in her illustrations not only through the dog’s expression but through the detailed shading. She’s a pet lover and her illustrations are totally from the heart.
I always liked to draw. I would do drawings for friends and family, one Christmas I drew my nephew’s portrait for my sister as a gift. After hearing that I was doing my nephew’s portrait a good friend of mine asked if I could draw her dog for her. I enjoyed it so much that I started to ask around if anyone was interested in having a pet portrait done. I love animals and their sweet faces, and cute expressions on all the faces I draw, keep me coming back. Before I knew it, I had a small business on the side. It keeps my very non-creative day job balanced with my artistic side.
Is there a website to see your work?
The newest avenue for artists getting their work seen is to build a website. I pulled together a site pretty quick and am excited to get my name out there. My next step would be to give social media a try. Baby steps …
How long does it take for the portrait and how do you do it?
It takes me about 10-15 hours to do a portrait. The time really depends on if there are two dogs or if it is a full body or just a portrait. To keep the costs reasonable I mostly do a standard 4A portrait and I include a classic white matting. My medium is pencil. I love the range of grays that you can get with graphite.
How long do I have to sit?
Since pets don’t really stay still long unless they are sleeping I do most of the work from photos. All I would need is a good detailed photo of the face. I ask for a few pics so that I can choose the best one. (Not to mention I love looking at all the doggie faces) The more expressive the face is the better.
Shan thank you so much for letting us know all about your beautiful illustrations. I just have two of my favorite questions that I love to ask.
Best advice of owning a dog?
The best advice I can give dog owners is if your dog is running and you need him/her to stop, yell ‘SIT’ instead of ‘Stop’. In the rare incident of a dog running in the street it should stop him/her in his tracks. Dogs usually learn to sit as the first trick they learn so they remember exactly what to do.
Things you would suggest in regards to traveling with your wagging dog?
I love traveling with my dog but I wouldn’t really travel far with him. I would take him to the beach with me. He was a beagle and he loved to run. I would let him go tearing down the beach. I guess my suggestion for traveling with a pet especially if you are going to a hot climate was to make sure they are well hydrated and put sunscreen on their nose. My dog had white fur around his nose and it would turn pink from the sun. A little sun protection doesn’t hurt especially for our furry friends.
Check her out
Website: Shan Hoffmann Illustrations
Location: London, UK
Cost: £ 80.00