Border Terrier, Jack Russell and Cockapoo Prints

Been busy as a bee with 3 new prints in my “Dog Tag” series… The Border Terrier, The Jack Russell and The Cockapoo.

These prints are all hand lettered and illustrated and then printed individually by hand on my press in my studio, dutifully watched over by my Portuguese Water Dog, Figo.

First up the Border Terrier, printed in a soft blue-grey ink, inspired by the big skies of the Border Country.

Border Terrier Hand Lettered Print by Debbie Kendall The Enlightened Hound

These rough ‘tweedy’ coated working terriers hail from the area between England and Scotland called the Border Country, a dramatic hilly landscape of sweeping valleys, heather moorland and green forests where 18th century farmers and shepherds, in need of some help to control the local fox and vermin population, started breeding Border Terriers.

And the Cockapoo… printed in a soft apple green ink

Cockapoo print by The Enlightened Hound

The popular Cockapoo was probably the first deliberate cross breed with the first records dating back to 1960s, or possibly 1950s, America. The delightful result of this cross between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle is a happy-go-lucky, smart and totally devoted companion.

And the Jack Russell (Parson Russell Terrier)… printed in an understated taupe-grey ink

Jack Russell Print by The Enlightened Hound

I really enjoyed researching these popular and feisty little dogs, with their long history of assisting people with hunting and vermin control. Their controversial and chequered past makes fascinating reading.

The story goes that the breed line was started way back in 1795 by the Reverend John (“Jack”) Russell, a parson with a passion for fox hunting and country pursuits. However he was vehemently against developing the Jack Russell to a standard as required by the Kennel Club for registration as he, and his sporting brethren, believed that developing a pedigree Jack Russell line would dilute the tenacious work ethic that these tough little dogs are known for.

But of course there were those who disagreed and sought to create a breed standard – now known as the Parson Russell Terrier – which is recognised by the Kennel Club.

Kennel club recognition aside, these larger-than-life dogs make great companions for people in all walks of life.

So this makes a total of 11 breeds now in my “Dog Tag” print series… the others are Labrador, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Pug, Golden Retriever, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Whippet & Portuguese Water Dog… take a look at them all on The Enlightened Hound’s Website.

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Golden Retriever Original Print

Here is the 8th breed in my dog tag print series – the Golden Retriever. This well known and loved breed is also adored by over 160 celebrity owners including Martha Stewart, Ronal Reagan, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Seinfeld, Jackie Chan and Christopher Reeve.

Golden Retriever Print

The  Golden Retriever was developed by the wonderfully named British aristocrat, Lord Tweedmouth, in the late 1800s, as a handsome and practical gentleman’s hunting companion. Tweedmouth was an avid hunter and well connected gentleman in Victorian society.

In 1865 Lord Tweedmouth bought the only yellow pup from a litter of black wavy coated retrievers and crossed him with the (now extinct) Tweed Water Spaniel, a rugged water dog with excellent retrieving abilities. He wanted to create the perfect sporting dog to retrieve upland game and waterfowl on his Scottish estate, but also an animal that was handsome and of a biddable, sweet disposition — an ideal a family pet.
Today’s Golden Retrievers are a testament to those early ideals.

Golden Retriever Art Print

Handsome as a Hollywood movie star, sensitive and intelligent companions, with smiling faces and heart-melting eyes, its hard to resist the allure of a Golden! Their inherent retrieving instinct and strong desire to please their people means that they love to carry things in their mouths – shoes, underwear and soft toys rank high on theirs list of favourite things to collect and present as gifts to their cherished family.

Framed Golden Retriever Print

Yet these dogs are so much more than a pretty face. Behind all the glamour lies a versatile and accomplished hunter who loves to be at one with nature. I always smile when I meet a mud-covered Golden out on a walk, fresh from romping through the undergrowth, wallowing in the mud and rolling in all manner of unmentionable substances. They simply love to have a good time with their people. What more could you ask from a dog?

The print combines my hand drawn lettering with illustration and each one is hand-printed on my press in a rich yellow ochre ink, then individually signed.

Prints are available both framed and unframed from my online shop

Hand Lettered Pug Print

The Enlightened Hound’s “Dog Tag” series of prints has a new addition – The Pug Print.

Hand printed Pug 'Dog Tag' Art by Debbie Kendall, The Enlightened Hound

I must admit that I didn’t know much about these popular little dogs before I started researching them for my latest Dog Tag breed story print. The pug is often characterised by the Latin phrase “multum in parvo” which means “much in little”. This refers to the fact that these little dogs have such huge personalities!

Hand lettered detail of Pug print by Debbie Kendall

Pugs have a fascinating history dating back to ancient China. Also known as Foo Dogs in the West, they were bred by the Chinese Imperial Family of ancient dynasties to resemble the sacred Chinese Guardian Lion. Historical documentation indicates that pugs could only be owned and bred by emperors ~ breaking this law was punishable by death.

A very desirable feature was the “W” shape in the forehead folds, which in Chinese letters meant prince.

Pugs were treasured companions who were held in the highest esteem. They lived in the lap of luxury, eating only the best food, with their own devoted attendants to look after them and special carriages to ride in (not that different from today then!)

Framed Pug Art Print by Debbie Kendall

Pugs have long been associated with royalty, favoured as companions by several European royal households. From a Russian princess to the Dutch king, William I, French ruler Louis XIV, and British monarchs, King William III, Mary II, Queen Victoria and Edward VII and more recently The Duke & Duchess of Windsor. A more royal pedigree could not be found!

Fame and fortune go hand in hand with these great little dogs. Other celebrity owners include Josephine Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Andy Warhol, George Clooney and Grace Kelly.

Pugs have also been immortalised in many movies and books, perhaps the most famous of which is Frank the Pug in Men in Black – an extra-terrestrial living on Earth in the disguise of a pug!

The print combines my hand drawn lettering with illustration and each one is hand printed on my press in a rich deep orange/red – and individually signed. Available from my website both framed and unframed.

Also available are Labrador, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Whippet and Portuguese Water Dog. Up next is the Staffy!

Cocker Spaniel and Springer Spaniel Dog Tag Prints

Here are 2 new additions to The Enlightened Hound’s series of Dog Tag prints which tell the story of a particular breed in a dog tag design. For those of you who are new to this series of prints, you can find out more about how they were developed in an earlier post.

The new breeds in the series are Cocker Spaniel and Springer Spaniel

The spaniel is widely assumed to have originated in Spain, with the word “spaniel” thought to be derived from the old French word “Espaignol” meaning “Spanish”. It may have been the Romans who were responsible for bringing these ‘Dogs of Spain’ to other parts of Europe.
However another theory suggests that the name “spaniel” may come from the French verb “espanir” meaning “to crouch or flatten” (which describes a style of hunting involving crouching and springing).

Springer Spaniel Print Dog Tag print by Debbie Kendall

I always enjoy researching each breed for the dog tag prints. When I spoke to Springer Spaniel owners about their dogs, the most frequent word that they used to describe them was ‘mad’! The next thing they invariably talked about is how they just love to be with you, whatever you are doing and wherever you are going. The phrase ‘Velcro Dog’ (as in ‘sticks to you like Velcro’) also cropped up quite frequently.

Hand lettered Springer Spaniel print by Debbie Kendall

I was delighted to discover that the nickname for the happy little Cocker Spaniel is the “Merry Cocker”
With their soulful eyes it’s easy to see where the phrase “spaniel eyes” (as in “Don’t look at me with those spaniel eyes!”) came from.

Hand printed Cocker Spaniel Dog Tag Art by Debbie Kendall

I was interested to discover how closely Cockers and Springers are related. Originally these were just different names given to pups of the same litter — the smaller ones called Cockers and the larger ones, Springers.

Hand lettered cocker spaniel print by The Enlightened Hound

The prints are hand lettered and illustrated and then each one is printed by hand on my press.

I am using photopolymer plates for these prints which are often used for letterpress work. I like how the image is reverse- embossed on the back of the print after it has been through the press.

Photopolymer plate 'debossing' by The Enlightened Hound

The prints can be bought online from The Enlightened Hound’s shop

Also in the series are Labrador, Whippet and Portuguese Water Dog.

Labrador Retriever “Dog Tag” print

Ta Da! Announcing a new addition to my series of Breed Story Dog Tag Prints. This latest one is for all you Labrador Lovers out there… and I know there’s a lot of you, as the Labrador is the number one breed in both the UK and the USA… and now I know why!

I had great fun researching the Labrador Print breed history for this latest print. They really are the most wonderfully versatile dogs and they definitely deserve their status as Top Dog (my Portuguese Water Dog can fortunately never read of my disloyalty!)

Labrador Retriever Print

Determination is one of the Labrador character traits on the print and funnily enough, the last couple of weeks on our daily walks, Figo and I have met some particularly determined Labs whose show of determination mainly related to stealing Figo’s ball and refusing to give it back! One lady tried to prise it from some very firmly clamped jaws (to no avail) and the others simply evaded capture, much to the embarrassment of their owners.

Labrador print lettering detail

Despite often seeing Labs as assistance dogs, it was not until I researched the breed in more detail that I realised just how many different ways Labs have been trained to help humans. These steady, soft-mouthed, warm hearted and waggy-tailed dogs are the perfect companion for so many people.

The prints combine my hand drawn lettering with illustration and they are each hand printed on my press in a chocolate brown ink – and individually signed.

Framed labrador print

Available from The Enlightened Hound

The prints can also be purchased framed in a selection of my handmade reclaimed wooden frames, or they will fit happily in a ready made frame, like the Ikea Ribba (52x52cm square frame with matt/mount included).

Portuguese Water Dog Art Print

I have been wanting to create something combining hand drawn lettering and illustration and I had in my mind an idea for a design based on a dog tag. In my recent post on Hand Lettering and Sketches I wrote about taking part in an online Hand Lettering project run by hand-drawn lettering and branding guru Jon Contino via the Skillshare website.

My original idea was making a new print in the form of a hang tag so I thought this course would be perfect to help me develop it. Most people on the course were designing labels for actual products, like bottles of beer or soap but the ‘product’ for which I was designing a label is a dog, or more accurately a specific dog breed…

Imagine a dog in a pound/shelter with a tag around its neck. The purpose of the tag (product label) is to give a prospective owner some information about the dog breed in the hope that they will rescue the dog. So it is really doing the same thing as a product label – trying to differentiate and tell a story of the product – but in this case a dog, rather than a botte of beer!

There’s a bit of Paddington Bear in this project too – the lost bear with a luggage label attached – entreating its finder to ‘look after this bear’.

Well my project has now come to fruition!  Of course I had to start with a Portuguese Water Dog as my dog, Figo is a ‘portie’.

portuguese water dog art print by debbie kendall

portuguese water dog art print hand lettered detail by debbie kendall

This illustration was too fine detail to be cut into a lino plate so I used a photopolymer plate instead which is capable of capturing much finer lines. Here is the plate…

photopolymer plate by the enlightened hound

I am intending to draw and print dog tag breed stories for other dog breeds… so watch this space for your breed!

portuguese water dog art print by the enlightened hound

These prints are on sale at The Enlightened Hound

If you know anyone with a Portuguese Water Dog, please point them in my direction. We ‘Portie’ owners love to meet each other!

Dog Inspired Typographic Prints

My Portuguese Water Dog, Figo, has been a great source of inspiration to me. We have just had a book published – Buckinghamshire A Dog Walker’s Guide – (see earlier post) and I have also been busy working on a series of dog-inspired linocut typography prints titled “The Enlightened Hound”

My Portuguese Water Dog Figo

The Enlightened Hound linoprints celebrate the instinctive principles dogs follow for a simple and contented life. We humans can learn much from their canine wisdom!

Canine Wisdom typographic prints by Debbie Kendall

No 1: “Start Each Day…”

Canine Wisdom Typographic Prints by Debbie Kendall

No 2: “If What You Want Lies Buried…”

Canine wisdom typographic prints by Debbie Kendall

No 3: “Run to Greet…”

Canine wisdom typographic prints by Debbie Kendall

No 4: “Explore New Paths…”

The prints have been created using authentic fonts from original Wild West and US Civil War posters. The letters are hand carved onto lino printing plates, then each poster is individually hand-printed on acid free archival 170gsm printmaking paper with traditional linseed oil inks, using hand-mixed colours, inspired by the American Colonial era.

Lino Plate by Debbie Kendall

Carved Lino Plate

Each print uses 4 different lino plates and three colours to produce. Each plate/colour is printed separately by hand. Here are some photos showing the prints at at stage of the process.

Linocut printing process by Debbie KendallLinocut printing process by Debbie Kendall

Linocut printing process by Debbie KendallLinocut printing process by Debbie Kendall

The vintage style, slightly distressed lettering and the typographical style is reminiscent of old Wild West Wanted Posters and 19th century American Show Posters.

They work beautifully as a series or as a single print and will appeal to dog lovers everywhere. They make a great gift.
Prints are signed and editioned in sets of 250.

Paper size is 400 x 500 mm (fits a standard 40 x 50 cm frame)
Image size is 277 x 397 mm

If you like them, why not buy one to celebrate your own dog’s wisdom or treat a fellow dog owner.