Penny the Quilled Dachshund

September 2, 2023

Penny the Quilled Dachshund

Meet Penny the Quilled Dachshund. My first attempt at creating this particular type of dog in this particular portrait style. Overall, I’m pretty happy with how she came out, and I hope to use this technique again in the future.

A Creative Approach

Quilling, as an art form, offers a myriad of possibilities, and each creation is an opportunity to experiment and innovate. With Penny’s portrait, I decided to take a slightly different approach than my other quilled pet portraits. Instead of painstakingly crafting tiny slivers of paper to mimic her fur, I opted for a more efficient technique using teardrop and marquis shapes. To achieve an ombre, blended effect for the fur on her chest and torso, I hand-painted the quills using soft pastels and Copic markers.

The Power of Simplicity

In art, there’s a certain power in simplicity. By using teardrop and marquis shapes, I was able to build up Penny’s portrait more efficiently. It was a reminder that art doesn’t always have to be intricate to be impactful. One of the primary reasons I don’t do more quilled pet portraits is because they are so incredibly time-consuming. A standard 8″ x 8″ canvas will often take me over 40 hours of work to fill with the level of detail necessary to make the paper strips appear to be paint.

Beyond Realism

Penny’s portrait may not have the hyper-realistic detail of some pet portraits, but it holds a unique charm and warmth that capture her spirit. It’s a reminder that art is not solely about replicating reality—it’s about evoking emotions, preserving memories, and celebrating the bonds we share with our furry companions.


WIP Photos

I’ve never attempted a portrait using just basic shapes before, so I was pretty nervous that my client (and for that matter, myself) wouldn’t like the end result. Since it was a first-time experience, there are things that I would change if I were to ever do one like this again. Namely the paws. I’m not sure how I would change them, but I don’t like the way Penny’s came out, though the beauty of the rest of the piece made them less noticeable.