I bought some derwent charcoal sticks which came to match their charcoal pencil range and they are fabulous! I managed to get large areas covered in no time and they blended very well. I used a very pale grey pastelmat paper which worked really well with for charcoal drawings.
I used the charcoal sticks for all the underlayers and then used the charcoal pencils for the finer detail, this worked a treat and I was able to get on in double quick time. The pencils come with a pencil sharpener in the tin and it does a great job of keeping the pencils really sharp helping with fine details in the fur.
As ever I’ve worked all the way around the nose, leaving poor Bertie looking like a reverse Rudolph! If you compare the nose area with the shot above you can see how the layers were added to build up the whispy fur and adding essential highlights too.
The white charcoal sits perfectly over the top of the darker areas, allowing the highlights to really stand out. This is such a time saver as you don’t need to reserve the light areas at all. I’d say charcoal is even more forgiving than pastel. If however you do feel you’ve managed to over do things, a simple dab of Blu-tak will remove some and you can rework an area easily.
As you can see I had a bit of a spurt on and forgot to take too many photos but you get the idea of how deep the darkest charcoal is and works well for the shadows..
Here is Bertie smiling at me from the easel, another Christmas commission done and dusted and I’ve had word back that his portrait is exactly what was ordered. Phew!
Here is the final scan of my cockapoo pet portraits giving a more realistic view of the finished piece. I especially loved the collar with the edging and stitching, I do love getting to grips with fiddly bits!
Feel free to visit my gallery where you will find lots of completed dog portraits but if you like to see how they are made, visit my dog art blog posts where I show step by step updates from the beginning to end of each piece and don’t forget I offer worldwide pet portraits commissions.