A SOPHIA Loren-inspired snowdog will take centre stage at an Italian restaurant.

Brighton artist Louise Dear is putting the finishing touches to the giant pooch for sponsor Donatello.

Famed for her vibrant and beautiful prints and flower-themed art, Louisa has set to work creating the Crush Puppy for the Italian restaurant in The Lanes.

The 1.5 metre model, which will join 40 others across the city in a charity art trail to raise money for The Martlets Hospice, arrived at the studio in Church Street, at the weekend.

It will appear in the window there as she works on the design over the coming weeks, until the launch of the trail on September 21 when it will take up its permanent kennel near the restaurant in Brighton Place.

Owner Sue Addis said: "We are thrilled to be sponsoring a Snowdog and so happy to be working with Louise Dear who is a great artist - our Crush Puppy is going to be a real Italian beauty. We can’t wait until she moves to our restaurant terrace from September. We love to support local charities and Martlets is a very important hospice for our community."

The Argus is the official media partner of the Wild In Art and Martlets project.

Follow Crush Puppy's journey on Instagram @louisedear and Twitter @donatellobrighton