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Footage of Hampstead artist painting Crufts hero Olly the Jack Russell goes viral too

PUBLISHED: 12:39 21 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:20 21 March 2017

Claire Thorogood with Olly the Jack Russell and his owner

Claire Thorogood with Olly the Jack Russell and his owner

Archant

A Hampstead artist became an internet sensation herself when she painted Olly the Jack Russell - who hit headlines for performing so badly at Crufts.

Pet portrait artist Claire Thorogood, who has a studio in the Hampstead Antique Emporium, in Heath Street, was asked to paint live during the dog show.

She was given the challenge of painting Olly after his Crufts performance where he became too excited, ended up stumbling and face-planting turned him into a Crufts hero got 210,000 views.

Speeded up footage of the artist, who lives in Muswell Hill, painting the pup soon went viral too with more than 18,000 views.

Claire, 52, said: “I was going to paint something live for the Crufts show then producers asked me to paint Olly. I got to meet him and took a quick picture.

Olly, the superstar Jack Russell, painted live on air by Claire Thorogood Olly, the superstar Jack Russell, painted live on air by Claire Thorogood

“He’s such a cutie, certainly vocal and a real character. I also learnt he’s a rescue dog which is something very close to my heart.”

Ms Thorogood gives 10 per cent of all commissions to Highgate based charity All Dogs Matter and also the Mayhew Animal Home in Kensal Green.

The portrait artist is also a high-end fashion designer, designing clothes for royalty and “titled ladies” and realised she had a talent for painting animals 18 months ago.

She said: “I’ve been creating all my life and get inspired by what’s around me. When I realised I could paint dogs I thought ‘wow’. It shocked me.

“Friends said I should be selling them, so it was being brave enough to launch into it. I then realised I could do live events.”

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