Here is part one of my munsterlander dog portraits. All the steps are shown below!
So this is the first half of a double dog portrait, this half being of a munsterlander dog named Dill.
I decided to try using solely faber castell pastels for this one to see how much the range would provide colourwise. I used their pastel cubes for the background. They are quite small but are packed full of pigment so the background didn’t really require too much work. The other reason I like them is they are long sticks with sharp edges so brilliant for working up to my lines without covering them up. They blended very well and I really liked the colours.
Due to the lack of dark colours (I usually use Derwent seal) I broke my own rule and had to use black for the darkest areas. I was worrying it would look flat but this has not proved to be the case.
I used a raw umber for the undercoat of the not quite so dark areas. I placed each stroke in the same direction as the real fur. I find this makes the fur look more realistic as I add more layers of pastel on top the fur takes on a fluffier appearance.
I soon realised the raw umber wasn’t going to be dark enough for the deepest shadows on Dill the munsterlander so I had to use black!
I use a medium grey to map out the highlights on top then a pale grey for the lightest fur.
As you can see I still put a foundation of raw umber everywhere so as not to go too dark but then used the black where I needed for contrast. At this point I became rather annoyed by the lack of colour and decided to add the tongue but I managed to drag myself back to the fur to be more organised!
I decided to leave the tongue until the end as a reward for completing all the lovely dark fur on Dill’s chest. You can see how I work in areas, solid blocks of raw umber for the deepest shadows with black added on top and then lighter pressure layers of the same raw umber for the longer chest hair as this would catch the light.
You can see I then worked downwards filling in the fur with more raw umber and a medium grey to add the highlighted fur. I didn’t want to make it too highlighted so I used the grey as a marker then used a very light grey for the fur which caught the light. It’s all about layers and not adding too much at a time.
You can see I simply repeated the process for each section I worked on in the next few images
And finally I got to add Dill’s nose and tongue as a reward after creating all that fur!
I should mention I used Clairefontaine pastelmat in brown and a white stabilo pencil to sketch my portrait out.
Lily is to be added next so I’ll give her her own blog post.
You can see the first stage of creating the munsterlander dog portraits and this is where the next stage starts.
I used raw umber to underpaint the face area of Lily, She has shiny fur similar to Dill the munsterlander so I simply used the same set of colours for her face.
You can see how I layer, raw umber as the base and then black for the very darkest areas, a mid grey and pale grey for the highlights. I simply worked around the face layer by layer.
Lily’s chest fur was in shadow plus it has a slightly creamy shade to is so I used a pale brown for the underlayer of this fur, it was slightly longer fur than on her face so I made my pastel pencil strokes longer
Next I used a dark grey to add the flecks of her fur under her neck. I used very light strokes but I knew they would almost be blended in when I used the pale grey for the top layer of fur. You can see all the layers above as I do tend to bob about rather than work an area to completion although this is really very organised for me, I usually move around colours too!
I loved the fact Lily has a very fancy collar, I love adding fiddly bits like tags and collars, plus it was nice to break out some more colours!
Next I worked on the tongue, Lily’s tongue was also half in shadow so I had to be careful to keep this in the give the impression of sunshine as highlighted on the fur.
I have already shown Lily and Dill’s Mum their new dog portrait and it’s already passed the critique! I just need to scan them now and pack them for posting.
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.