Interview with Pet Portraitist, Danguolė Šerstinskaja

How would you describe your creative style?
My style is realism and its intention is representing the subject accurately in a painting including facial expressions and conveyed emotion.

What is art to you?
Art is the expression of my dedication, personality and interests on paper.

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How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
I have been surrounded by dogs and other animals all of my life, I have bred and trained various dog breeds for over 20 years.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
I love animals and I understand the animals’ character and behaviour, every animal is unique and with my artwork I want to reflect their uniqueness, spirit and emotion.

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How have others reacted to your work?
People and especially dog lovers love my work and I receive plenty of requests from people to draw their pets or horses.

What do you want others to take away from your work?
The artistic potential of dedication and concentration and the observation and emphasis of the animal as a unique personality.

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What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Don’t waste too much time on graphite realism, there are other more efficient mediums which achieve the same result in a fraction of the time.

What are your thoughts on art school?
I myself have finished art school and I think it can teach the basics about art, but to become a great artist you need to teach yourself and learn from other great artists and go beyond what is taught in art school.

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What art supplies do you use?
For oil on paper paintings “oil dry brush” technique I use oil with various size brushes, kneaded erasers, eraser pencils, Gel ink pens and paper.

What’s your process like?
I start by sketching the subject with a graphite pencil and then I work in layers of whole image: first I create the tones, then I define shadows and highlights and lastly I add hair and fine detail.

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How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
I am an admirer and supporter of realism and I wish that art developed not only towards modern art, but would come back to its roots.

Follow Danguolė Šerstinskaja on Facebook.

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