The Portraitsphere: Rien Poortvliet

Briard portrait by Rien Poortvliet

Today’s foray into the Portraitsphere takes us to the canvas and sketchbooks of Dutch artist Rien Poortvliet. Best known for his multitudes of Gnomes, he seemed to really love dogs and, lucky for us, spent a lot of time observing, painting, sketching and scribbling them. The portrait of the French Briard above is from his book Dogs, and it’s definitely one of my favorite books about dogs. It’s literally crammed with portraits of all kinds of dogs from A to Z. And not only that, there are thoughts, facts, opinions and observations scrawled throughout. In this example he illustrates a non-dog person meeting a dog:

Rien Poortvliet's observation on dog and non-dog people

And there are pages and pages like this, about what goes on around his house with his own dogs and the things they get up to:

Rien Poortvliet's dogs and their antics

Yep, he’s nailed it again. In fact, as you go through the book you find yourself saying over and over, with a smile “oh yes, that’s exactly how it is!” And you know you wouldn’t have it any other way!

Rien Poortvliet's book Dogs

I bought my copy of Dogs quite a few years ago so it’s out of print, but it is possible to track down a used copy of the book. Here is a link to Amazon’s current availability.

The Portraitsphere: Marz Jr.

Chloe Malle's Dog Jerry by Marz Jr.

Today’s journey into the Portraitsphere features an illustration I happened to see recently in a fall issue of Vogue Magazine (yes, I’m a little behind), printed at about 2″ in height. The feature was “The Editor’s Eye”, which is an inside look at just what a particular editor personally likes/owns.

This installment was all about Vogue’s Social Editor Chloe Malle, and the subject of this portrait is her beloved Goldendoodle Jerry by illustrator Marz Jr. And based on the other embellished items shown in the feature, it appears Marz Jr. nailed her style with the crown, table, tassels and fringed setting. One of her other favorite items, a pair of Charlie McCarthy salt and pepper shakers, initially did seem a bit out of place…until I realized that her grandfather was Edgar Bergen, and her father was Louis Malle, and so her mother is Candace Bergen. Like I said, I’m a little behind.

Here are a few more examples of Marz Jr.’s work:

Illustrations by Marz Jr.

Thanks to Marz Jr. for permission to use his work in this post. To see more of his work, visit his website here.

The Portraitsphere

Zachary's Jack Russell

Today begins yet another new category here on Dogs Make Everything Better: the Portraitsphere! It’s going to be a wide assortment of great dog portraits from near and far. There are so many great dog portraits out there, and not just professional ones but also simple ones scrawled onto napkins and notebooks and everywhere else…and I want to track them down.

First to be featured: this entry that I saw a few years ago at the state fair—and had won a ribbon!—drawn in charcoal by a ninth-grader named Zachary. I love the wonky ears, I love the kind eyes, and I love the smudginess and erased bits, the evidence of let’s-start-over. But what I especially love is that this is probably a very special dog in Zachary’s life and it’s absolutely captured here.

Three cheers for the Portraitsphere!