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Livestock portraits

livestock portraits

Meet Ianto! A handsome bull I have had the pleasure of painting recently, my first livestock portraits.

I just couldn’t wait to get to it but it was for a January birthday so I had all of my Christmas commissions to get through first!

About Ianto the bull

This handsome chap has been painted for his owner’s birthday from his favourite photograph featuring the farm landscape where he lives. Ianto is 3 years old and produces the most fabulous heifers and is obviously the pride and joy of his owner. It took a bit of jiggery-pokery to create the scene with the removal of some railings and an awkwardly placed tree but I am so pleased with how it turned out, cant wait to find some more bull models in the future!

Creating livestock portraits

bull portraits in pastel

I’ve started using panpastels for the underlayers a lot more recently. I think I am getting the hang of them although at this stage it does look very messy (even more messy than normal if that’s even possible!)

bull portraits in pastel

You can see the layer is very uneven but as more is added and the sponges smooth it out, the layers do look tidier. I also decided to add a bit of grass with pastel pencils, no idea why, just fancied a change! You can see the background is starting to take shape, again, panpastels for the underlayers then pencils on top.

bull portraits in pastel

The background wasn’t finished at this stage but I really wanted to get to work on Ianto, I just couldn’t wait!

Video clip of using panpastels

I thought a little video of me using the panpastels would be of interest to some of my readers. You can see how rough it looks at the very beginning but as more panpastel is added and blended things start to become much more realistic. Please excuse the errant hair but also my lack of video expertise!

bull portraits in pastel

Here you can see the pans I used to add the underlayers on the bull, the range has 80 colours and tones so pretty much everything you will ever need.

bull portraits in pastel

So a few more layers of panpastels and you can see how its starting to take shape and giving the bull some form.

bull portraits in pastel

Still building up more panpastel layers….

bull portraits in pastel

And this is where the panpastels took me too. I used some little make up sponges from a chemist shop which had a soft sponge tip enabling me to really get into tiny spaces, and using the point created some pretty good details.

bull portraits in pastel

So finally I got the pastel pencils out and started refining the details. I worked on Ianto’s face which was pretty detailed and the feedback from the client throughout was fantastic which told me I was on the right road!

Art supplies used for painting Ianto the bull

bull portraits in pastel

So here is Ianto finished on the easel along with most of the pastels I used and some of the tools too. The thin pink handled sponges and the dumpy sponge are all make up sponges from a local chemist. They are fabulous for blending and dabbing bits of colour into tight corners. I also used silicon tipped colour shapers and some sofft tools. I used a combination of derwent, stabilos and pitt pastel pencils for the finer details on top.

livestock portraits

And finally, here is Ianto finished. This was an 8×8 inch portrait so I was pretty pleased with how much detail I managed to fit in.

Ianto framed by my client

framed bull portrait

I love to see how a client frames my artwork. This time the client’s friend was a framer and this is the fabulous choice and style they chose, isn’t it wonderful! Very suitable I think for Ianto.

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2 thoughts on “Livestock portraits

  1. It’s there in the shadow of his back leg if you must know however it wasn’t highlighted so I didn’t enhance it!!!

  2. just need to add one thing, he is a male, right? where is his maleness, they are always prominent on bulls.
    Great picture and love how you used the pan pastels more on this one than the dogs.
    Thank you.

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