Dog doodles by Sussex artist Hercule Van Wolfwinkle become a hit


These are the hilariously bad pet portraits people are queuing up to pay for.

Phil Heckels – who uses the pseudonym Hercule Van Wolfwinkle – admits his creations are ‘really c**p’ but the office worker has been inundated with requests from people desperate to see his interpretation of their beloved pet pooches.

The 38-year-old father, from Worthing, West Sussex, discovered his ‘unique talent’ after doodling a picture of his dog, posting it on Facebook and finding friends offering to pay for one of his portraits.

Since then, strangers have inundated Mr Heckels with around 150 requests a day. So far, he has completed 220 portraits.

As he was unwilling to accept payment, kind-hearted Mr Heckels has sent all his proceeds to homeless charity, Turning Tides and has raised more than £5,000 for the good cause.

The office worker has been inundated with requests from people desperate to see his interpretation of their beloved pet pooches

Phil Heckels – who uses the pseudonym Hercule Van Wolfwinkle – admits his creations are ‘really c**p’ but the office worker has been inundated with requests from people desperate to see his interpretation of their beloved pet pooches

The 38-year-old father, from Worthing, West Sussex, discovered his 'unique talent' after doodling a picture of his dog. One of his artworks, pictured

He posted an image of his dog on Facebook and found friends offering to pay for one of his portraits (example, pictured)

The 38-year-old father, from Worthing, West Sussex, discovered his ‘unique talent’ after doodling a picture of his dog, posting it on Facebook and finding friends offering to pay for one of his portraits

Strangers have inundated Mr Heckels with around 150 requests a day

So far, he has completed 220 portraits

Strangers have inundated Mr Heckels with around 150 requests a day. So far, he has completed 220 portraits

As he was unwilling to accept payment, kind-hearted Mr Heckels has sent all his proceeds to homeless charity, Turning Tides

Mr Heckels has raised more than £5,000 for the good cause

As he was unwilling to accept payment, kind-hearted Mr Heckels has sent all his proceeds to homeless charity, Turning Tides and has raised more than £5,000 for the good cause

These are the hilariously bad pet portraits people are queuing up to pay for

They invariably appear to be caricatures

These are the hilariously bad pet portraits people are queuing up to pay for, which invariably appear to be caricatures

Mr Heckels said: 'It all started when I was trying to coerce my son into making some thank-you cards'

Another one of his comical efforts

Mr Heckels said: ‘It all started when I was trying to coerce my son into making some thank-you cards’

It doesn't take the artist long to draw his animal masterpieces

The quickest one so far took Mr Heckels about 30 seconds

It doesn’t take the artist long to draw his masterpieces. The quickest one so far took Mr Heckels about 30 seconds

Mr Heckels said: 'I have had so many requests it's a bit of a lottery if you get one now. I have had to manage people's expectations'

Pictured, one of his attempts at a dog 'lying on its back'

Mr Heckels said: ‘I have had so many requests it’s a bit of a lottery if you get one now. I have had to manage people’s expectations’

Phil Heckels (above): ‘I sat with my son and doodled a picture of our dog. It was really c**p so I put a jokey post on Facebook saying “pet portraits for £299″‘

However, he is now overwhelmed by requests, with a backlog of around 600 pictures still to do.

Mr Heckels: ‘It all started when I was trying to coerce my son into making some thank-you cards. 

‘I sat with him and doodled a picture of our dog. It was really c**p so I put a jokey post on Facebook saying “pet portraits for £299”.

‘A few friends contacted me asking me to draw their pets and then I started getting random requests from strangers who had seen the pictures. 

‘That’s when I set up my “business” Facebook page.

‘When my mate suggested setting up the Just Giving page, I thought I would give it a try and see if I could reach the original price I had posted of £299. I had no idea they would be so popular.

‘I have a full-time job, a wife and a kid. I am just a normal bloke and haven’t really drawn in my life other than at school. I didn’t even do GCSE Art or anything.

‘Soon I found myself sitting crossed-legged on the floor while my wife watched Netflix churning out several portraits a night.

‘Some are obviously better than others. In the main, I just try to draw what I see and it basically comes out as it does. I think I have only started again twice. It is what it is.

'Soon I found myself sitting crossed-legged on the floor while my wife watched Netflix churning out several portraits a night,' said Mr Heckels

‘Soon I found myself sitting crossed-legged on the floor while my wife watched Netflix churning out several portraits a night,’ said Mr Heckels

'A few friends contacted me asking me to draw their pet,' said Mr Heckels

'... then I started getting random requests from strangers who had seen the pictures,' he added

‘A few friends contacted me asking me to draw their pets and then I started getting random requests from strangers who had seen the pictures,’ said Mr Heckels

The artist's Just Giving site states: 'Hercule has two styles of portrait, one super realistic full colour which is just like looking at a photograph or alternatively the more contemporary black and white portrait that will grace any home'

One of the 'super realistic full colour' portraits

The artist’s Just Giving site states: ‘Hercule has two styles of portrait, one super realistic full colour which is just like looking at a photograph or alternatively the more contemporary black and white portrait that will grace any home’

Seeing the potential of his artworks, Mr Heckels soon set up his 'business' Facebook page

A tortoise, as interpreted by Phil Heckels

Seeing the potential of his artworks, Mr Heckels set up his ‘business’ Facebook page; above, one of his tortoise subjects

'When my mate suggested setting up the Just Giving page, I thought I would give it a try and see if I could reach the original price I had posted of £299,' he said

Pictured, a horse, as realised by the mind of Mr Heckels

‘When my mate suggested setting up the Just Giving page, I thought I would give it a try and see if I could reach the original price I had posted of £299,’ said the artist

Phil Heckels said he had no idea his artworks would be so popular

Another of Hercule Van Wolfwinkle's masterpieces

Phil Heckels said he had no idea his artworks would be so popular; above, another of Hercule Van Wolfwinkle’s masterpieces

‘They don’t take me long. The quickest one so far probably took me about 30 seconds but I have had so many requests it’s a bit of a lottery if you get one now. I have had to manage people’s expectations.

‘Some people donate beforehand and some people wait until they have their portrait. Some have donated a little before and the rest after.

‘There is no set amount – £3 to one person is the same as £300 to another – and I want it to be something everyone can get involved in.

‘It all started as a laugh and a bit tongue-in-cheek but I am really happy to be raising so much money for Turning Tides and if one day I can quit my job and become an artist, even better.’

To donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/portraitsbyhercule or https://www.facebook.com/portraitsbyhercule

Hercule Van Wolfwinkle does 'wonderful portraits of your fur babies', according to Mr Heckes's Just Giving site page

A pair of dogs pose for their moment in the spotlight

Hercule Van Wolfwinkle does ‘wonderful portraits of your fur babies’, according to Mr Heckels’s Just Giving site page

'It all started as a laugh and a bit tongue-in-cheek but I am really happy to be raising so much money for Turning Tides and if one day I can quit my job and become an artist, even better,' he said

‘It all started as a laugh and a bit tongue-in-cheek but I am really happy to be raising so much money for Turning Tides and if one day I can quit my job and become an artist, even better,’ he said

'I have a full-time job, a wife and a kid. I am just a normal bloke and haven't really drawn in my life other than at school'

Mr Heckels didn't do GCSE Art - but that hasn't held him back

‘I have a full-time job, a wife and a kid. I am just a normal bloke and haven’t really drawn in my life other than at school. I didn’t even do GCSE Art or anything,’ said the artist

A selection of some of Phil 'Hercule Van Wolfwinkle' Heckels's artworks - no doubt taking pride of place in their owners' living rooms

A selection of some of Phil ‘Hercule Van Wolfwinkle’ Heckels’s artworks – no doubt taking pride of place in their owners’ living rooms

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