Tag Archives: dog portrait

3’s A Crowd – original pastel dog drawing commission

original pastel drawing of two jack russells and a beagle

3’s A Crowd

This was a tough commission.  The original drawing is 20 x 16″ on pastelmat.

When originally asked to do the commission I was presented with a photograph of the three dogs in this pose.  It’s taken by a professional pet photographer.  My initial reaction was to say that the photo was great and could not be improved upon with art.  However, the customer insisted that he wanted something bigger and completed in art.  Reluctantly I agreed, as most pet artists know a great photo can lead to a great piece because when the photography is so clear it makes my job a lot easier.

Decisions – I thought the best course of action was to focus on the dog’s faces and make everything else loose and impressionistic.  I figured that if I drew the bench and the trees and grass in great detail then it would detract away from the dogs themselves.

Here are my materials for the commission – Unison soft pastels (Emma Colbert set) stabilo carbothello pastel pencils, conte soft and hard pastels all on pastelmat.

 Here is a slideshow showing progress shots taken as I went along…

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The piece took just over 2 weeks to complete….

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That Greyhound Look – notes from the studio of a portrait artist

I finally finished my first oil portrait.  It took a lot of time and frustration.  There was countless times that I felt like launching the canvas across the studio, but I persevered and finally finished it….

oil painting of a dalmatian

That Dalmatian Look #1

There’s about a million things wrong with it.  Its far too clumpy and there’s too many textured brush strokes in the face, I wanted it to be very smooth and precise in the face area and quite loose everywhere else.  However, it’s a good likeness and I really love the background which I now understand really well.

The current trend seems to be painting outside, my art magazines and instagram feed is full of it.  So I decided to take my easel outside – not far, just into my garden.  Intending to paint in one sitting I was interrupted and had to carry on the next day, fortunately the weather was fine for both days.  Below are some snaps of the progress….

It’s far too dark really and by the time I had finished it I was completely bored with it.  It’s not the oil paints that are the problem.  If I wanted to draw or paint trees and plants I would have done it before with my pastels.  It’s just doesn’t inspire me I suppose.  I tend to love all the subject matters that I draw and get excited about the prospect of transforming it into a piece of art.  If I didn’t have this I would have given up a long time ago.  The next step obviously will be to do an oil painted portrait.  I’ve been dying to do it for a while…..watch this space.


My next drawing is another greyhound, this time however it’s a long haired greyhound.  The new bits are that I am completing it on pastelmat which is a first for me.  It was recommended and I can see why, it’s a great surface as it holds the pastel really well and is thicker and probably longer lasting.  The negatives are that the pastel does not blend well at all, there is more blending as you layer on the pastel but literally none at the beginning.  The other negative is that you can’t erase very well. I usually need to move things around a bit at first until I am happy with the proportions so that was quite tricky when I needed to move the eyes up a bit. ..

Here I’m finally happy with the proportions and I am beginning to work down the face, I’m using just one shade of pastel – a mid grey.  The other new thing is that this is a bigger size for me, its 50 x 40cm which is the next size up.

Working on blending and laying down the fur detail I am working down the face.  It’s great to see him come to life on the board and as I am going I am beginning to enjoy the pastelmat surface which holds the pastel well and therefore hold the colour well.

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I have purchased some gouache paint in order to add the brightest white highlights.   I must admit to being terrified of applying it.  When I pluck up the courage I’ll post up the results.  After much searching on the internet as well as conversations with other artists I managed to pluck up the courage to put on some pastel colour and to use the gouache.  The gouache feels like liquid chalk so it works well with the pastel.  I’m pretty chuffed with the results, it has added another dimension to my work.  It has also made me realise that pastels are beautiful to use, particularly the wonderful colours they have.  More to come…..

Here is the finished piece.  I have decided to call him Chief as he reminds me of an Indian chief.  He is now framed and ready to purchase.  Take a closer look at him on my website shop by clicking here or clicking on the finished image below…

original pastel drawing of a long haired greyhound grey with brown eyes by Cheshire pet artist

Chief


My current piece is a cricket commission which unfortunately I can’t share with you at this time.  After it’s been presented I’ll showcase it.

There have been no sales this week so far 😦 however I am working on commissions so there is still plenty of art being created.

Ben – original pastel drawing

This is my latest completed commission – Ben, he is a red border collie.  It was a pleasure to draw such a colourful dog, he has a mass of orange, red and ginger fur  I selected this pose as I love drawing movement. With a focus on the face I wanted the rest of Ben to appear loose and fluid by using bold strokes with the pastel.  I used conte pastel pencils and sticks as well as carbothello pastel pencils.

pastel pencil drawing of a red collie running holding a stick

Ben

I came across this quote by Robert Henri – ‘the artist is interesting to himself and he is interesting to others’  I find this quite reassuring because I always think I must sound very boring when I prattle on about art

Progress Drawing – graphite cocker spaniel

Aren’t spaniels’ ears the best thing to draw.  So soft and flowing with such varying tones that present a great challenge.  This drawing is almost complete now this ear taking up nearly half of the drawing.  You could possibly draw every single fur detail but that would not be artistic, merely copying so I have shown the soft velvety flow of the ears by creating a uniform tonal detail.

graphite close up detail of a spaniel ear

Progress Drawing

How a Dalmatian got it’s spots… Clip video of pencil Dalmatian drawing 

This is a little clip video of progress on a pencil drawing.  I took photos as I went along which show nicely how I work my drawings from laying down the initial shade and the proportions to finalising the dark detail.  At no point do I really work on the white or light parts, building everyone up from the tone instead.

The drawing is only 5 x 5″ which forms part of a new range of smaller gift size commissions which I will launching this week.

Whippet Print

Here is my fine art whippet print now prepared.  It looks lovely printed out on fine art paper, those eyes come out really well.  I have limited the run to 150 so if you would like one then don’t leave it to think too long.  To order click here to buy or click on the image to be taken direct to my website shop and a secure checkout.  The prints are priced at £42 each and are mounted to 16 x 12″  – please note that the wording across the print will not be on your purchased print, it is there purely to prevent people from printing out my image without my permission.  If you have any queries you can email me: pauletteafarrell@hotmail.com

limited edition fine art print of a whippet drawn in graphite pencil looking up at its owner by Alsager pet artist

The Whippet Look Fine Art Print

That Whippet Look! – original pencil drawing

This drawing is now complete.  I have drawn him in Faber Castell graphite pencils on Arches Watercolour Paper.  It is mounted to 16 x 12″ and is available to buy from my website shop.  Click here to buy or on the image.  I would love to hear what you think of him…..

original pencil drawing of a whippet looking up at its owner by Alsager pet artist

That Whippet Look