Friday, December 16, 2005

Japanese Akita Portrait

I've just finished my second last Christmas commission, this one is a gorgeous Japanese Akita dog. I'm really pleased with how this turned out, combining a pastel underpainting with color pencil for all the top layers.

One more Christmas portrait to finish in the next day or so (another dog, this time an Australian Kelpie) then I can do some art for me! And at some stage I *will* get this blog fixed so that my profile/links/archive side bar is back at the side where it is meant to be and not down the bottom. I think its an IE thing as I have been told it works ok in Firefox.

This one is 11 x 14 inches on dark blue Art Spectrum Colourfix sanded paper - my new favourite support for pastels and colour pencils. And whats more its an Aussie product so easy to get here:)

Dog Breed Profile: The Japanese Akita Inu

The AKITA INU is a Japanese Breed of Dog, reputedly bred as a hunting and guarding dog in ancient Japan. The Akita Inu (which means 'big dog' in Japanese) were originally bred to hunt boar, elk and even bear but were also versatile enough to catch water fowl and other small prey. They were also used as a guard dog during feudal times and has always been regarded as a dog of luck - new babies and the ill are given Akita carvings even today. Archaeological evidence indicates that dogs migrated to Japan 4000 years ago, and since the 12th century drawings and artifacts depict a dog with erect ears and curled tail - the early ancestors of the modern Akita.

This breed is characterised by its noble and dignified bearing, its great beauty, aloofness with strangers, and unsurpassed courage. They are a heavily built, powerful dog whose devotion to their owners is typified by the legendary Haichiko - a dog who attended the railway station at Shibuyu in Japan every morning and afternoon with his master who travelled to work by train. When Haichiko's master died at work, he continued to visit the raliway station morning and night for teh next ten years.

The Akita is the largest Japanese native dog - powerful and heavy boned, with a big bear-like head and thick coat up to 5cm long at the withers and rump. They grow up to 71cm tall and weigh approx. 55kg. The Akita coat does require regular brushing but only infrequent bathing.
Akitas have a strong ego and will not tolerate abuse. They can be obstinate and rather jealous if treated harshly but will always co-operate and are incredibly devoted companions if treated kindly, and kept as one of the family.

Akita's are an active breed that require regular excercise. The Akita is a strong, large, impressive working dog - obedience training and a great deal of socialization as a puppy are required as they have a tendency to be aggressive towards other dominant dogs. Not a breed for the timid, first time dog owner.

Click the following link to view some photos of Akita's (to open the link in a new window, simply right click with your mouse and select 'open in new window')




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