Monty

Today we can open the first Christmas dog of 2017: the Marvellous, Magnificent, Magical Monty.

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Ok, so I actually don’t know if he did literally have magical powers – but you can tell he was marvellous and magnificent, just by looking at him.

He also has the look of one of those uber fashionable cross-breed dogs. I forgot to double-check with the owners, but I’m happy to make an educated guess. [Things are going to get quite technical here – if you get lost, just have the Kennel Club website open alongside, and you’ll be fine.]

OK – here goes: there’s a lot of what we in the trade call “fluff”, also a fair dash of “scruff”, and for the last third – it’s either Muppet or Teddy Bear. I’m not 100% sure. Muppet would work best for it’s alliterative neatness – a Marvellous, Magnificent Muppet – and there is something about the pose that reminds me of Animal.

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But, no, on the whole I suspect Monty was what we experts would call a “Teddy Bear” through and through. I hear he made a frequent 5th on the sofa for movie nights, for example, and that’s something I can’t see Animal doing quietly.

We have to be a little careful in choosing our bear, though, as there was a touch of Hollywood star about our Monty. You have to imagine him as more Paddington bear after the success of his recent films, than a humble any-old Edward bear stuffed down the side of the bed. Turns out Monty loved a good spa day, ending with a full on whirlpool bath – for his hips, so he told his owners, but I wonder whether he didn’t just like stepping out of the salon in style, all fluffy and gleaming, like a cross between an oversized bag of cotton wool, and Marilyn Monroe standing over the subway grate:images-2

So that’s how you have to imagine Monty – leading his troops through the day, with a series of commands communicated in his own language of bum wiggles, howls and hums.

Can all that go into a portrait? Well, the photo they chose, was a pretty good starting point.

And here goes – from bare bones (aka first sketch) to full on poofed-up bag of fun:

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IMG_0347There’s the all-important tongue in, now for yet more fluff.IMG_0350There we go – the highlights in the eyes too – that magical moment, when the character floods in. I love it.

But even more, I love this sneaky behind the scenes shot:IMG_0348He looks so sweet from this side, don’t you think. The eyes seem a little bit more questioning – the powder-puff general who is suddenly the teensiest bit unsure of himself.

“No … wait… was it such a good idea to roll in that muddy patch … it’s not going to be shower-time when I get home again, is it? Wasn’t that yesterday? Surely this bit of mud isn’t dirty like the others, is it? It smells so good!?!!!”

 

And here he is: all done.IMG_0351IMG_0373

All hail Monty the Magnificent.

And a very Merry Christmas

2 thoughts on “Monty

  1. Elori, you have done such a magical job of bringing Monty back to life in such lovely colour and style. Monty was such a big part of our family and still is and we can share the delights and stories of our time with Monty which we all loved so much. The whole family have been so appreciative of your efforts with the work on creating such a good likeness and wonderful words. Monty the magnificent really was magical!!
    Thanks Again for your efforts and lovely words. The Stone family
    We love and miss you Monty!

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