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French mastiff pastel dog portraits

completed french mastiff dog painting

Meet the beautiful Ed the french mastiff, one of my Christmas pastel dog portraits. Isn’t he a handsome devil!


French mastiff dog portrait

 I really enjoyed working on Ed as he was an unusual breed, as they say, a change is as good as a rest!

I painted the background using panpastels and pastel pencils for the fur and face as they allow me create lots of definition. I usually put framers tape around the edge of my portraits so they are easier to handle and look better, however, as you can see I ran out! As I used panpastels for the background you can see I was unable to keep the edges as tidy as I would have liked!

French mastiff dog painting work in progress

After purchasing more framing tape I secured the portrait to my easel in a tidier fashion! If you look at the work in progress shot above you can see how I worked in layers, first I put the dark carmine and browns I was using for the deepest shadows, then it was a layer of rich autumn red. Looking to the area underneath the right ear you can see how I started to add tangerine highlights (yes that really is the colour!) to show how the light was catching individual hairs. This gives you the idea of how I build up in stages although I do jump around the portrait, each section is still worked in the same way. You can see another ‘frenchie’ here french bullldog portraits in charcoal pencils.

french mastiff dog painting

After the layer of tangerine I added pale peach and cream for the lightest of highlights, in some places I guess there would be at least 15 layers of pastel as I go back correcting the depth of colour adding darker and lighter shades as needed in order to create the shine and shape.

french mastiff dog portrait

As you can see colours of the shots are inconsistent, this is because I have to work under daylight bulbs to see as it’s deep winter here and the days are pretty gloomy! The scan at the top of the page is correct.

Framed french mastiff portrait

And here is Ed all suited and booted. The fabulous Charlotte who commissioned Ed’s portrait for her very lucky Mother-in-law took photos of Ed’s framing and packing for me. Doesn’t he look magnificent!

packing dog portraits

I love the way Ed has been gift wrapped and boxed up, it really does make the portrait even more special and it’s made it look very festive!

boxed pet portraits

Ed was wrapped in red tissue inside the box which just adds to the excitement when unwrapping on Christmas Day I would imagine!

gift wrapped dog portraits

And finally the gift box with a beautiful red ribbon. What more could anyone ask for! I hope Ed’s portrait is a much loved gift to be treasured for a very long time.

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2 thoughts on “French mastiff pastel dog portraits

  1. Many thanks Karie, you did an amazing job and the portrait is truly beautiful. Very interesting to read about how the portrait came to life. Have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Thank you Charlotte, it was an honour to be asked to paint the beautiful Ed.

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