I was inspired by the return of Spring, parks and my experience from walking my own dogs (and Casper) for this illustration. I’ve never walked this many at one time though! I wanted to experiment with various expressions, characters and a larger setting for the dogs. I liked the idea that London is being over-run by wild Westies, although the dog walker still manages some level of control! However, Billy has managed to escape and Basil is an entangled mess. As always, the ever-changing, unpredictable English weather still plagues someone. This time it’s the mice while they’re trying to do their daily shopping run.
From left to right: Casper, Billy, Lucky (with the leash) and Basil (hiding behind the street lamp).
The inspiration for this gang of Westies or West Highland Terriers –as they are also known- is based on the Westies I’ve encountered, seen or heard of in Notting Hill. I wanted to feature some additional characters, other than the current one I’ve started using with Casper, as there are more Westies in the Westies of West London.
Casper is our office dog and he’s always raiding the bins, so I thought he’d love it out on the streets, free to do as he pleases. Billy, is one of our client’s Westies –I’ve never seen him but I have heard of his name– and I liked the idea that he has this long, unmanaged fringe which distinguishes him from the rest. He’s also a little bigger than the others and loves betting or gambling with the local pigeons to pass the time. Lucky is one of the other Westies who lives in the mews and is always running around with a leash attached to his collar (sort of like a security blanket I suppose). Basil… well Basil is an excitable, hyperactive pup who is still a bit “leaky”, so he’s generally creating little puddle surprises all over the place.
Welcome to the Westies Gang!
A new character for the Westies, the Foxies of Fulham! I liked the idea of giving the Westies a love interest – a set of characters that would appear periodically and make the Westies “WoWL” whenever they meet on the streets of Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill! The Foxies of Fulham are a picky bunch of lady Fox Terrier dogs though —born from the high society and fashion circles of Fulham and Chelsea— and they won’t just settle for any type of mongrel or mutt.
I love it when dogs shake themselves dry. There’s something amusingly animated about the way they do it. It always starts with the side to side head roll and ending off with the crazy bum shake (actually, it is quite amazing how much water they do disperse off their coats). Casper – the office dog – arrived at work today all sparkly and white, after having been given a bath over the weekend. It gave me some inspiration for this illustration.