This is Honey, isn’t she a stunning colour! She is my third terrier pastel pet portraits in a row!
Honey’s portrait was to be a secret birthday gift from a wife to her husband and she confided that Honey is the other woman in her husband’s life! Made me smile! I did a mock-up of how I envisaged Honey’s dog portrait would look and her human Mum agreed a creamy/brown graduated background would fit very well. Sadly my image editing is pretty shabby and I was asked to ensure I did actually add Honey’s ear tips as my awful edit had cut them off! Honey’s portrait was 8×12 inches and I used panpastels for the smooth background, the more I use them, the more I like them. They are so smooth to use and blend so easily. I use sponges to work right up to the edge of my subject and to blend one colour into another. I also started work on Honey’s eyes which are a rich chestnut/amber colour and positively shine!
Sadly, as with everyone of a certain age, Honey has developed some grey bits! I think they make her look very elegant and almost look like spectacles! I used various shades of browns and reds to begin building up her fur. The reference for Honey’s pastel pet portraits was taken with a flash and so somewhat washed out but her Mum chased Honey around taking many more shots (helped with a few bribery tricks) to help me with fur and eye colour. See more Pet portraits in pastel and how to take good pet portraits photography to ensure your reference images are perfect.
I started to build up the fur on Honey’s back and you can see how every pastel pencil stroke follows in the direction of her actual fur. I build up these layers, one on top of another to give the impression of fur.
As ever the British weather is a law unto itself which doesn’t help when you are trying to send updates to a client. You can see through my blog posts how none of the images are consistent shades. Sometimes I am bathed in sunshine, sometimes there are black rain clouds and sometimes I just work into the evening when I use daylight bulbs so it’s not until the final scan that the real colours really pop on the page.
Here you can see I’ve made headway with Honey’s chest, she had some pink and peach shades in her fur which was a lovely combination of colours to work with. I tend to work from the darkest colours to the lightest which makes the lights highlights really contrast and stand out.
Here I started work on Honey’s muzzle including her nose. Again it was all about building up the layers.
And here she is all done, my latest pastel pet portraits from photos. Isn’t Honey glorious!
Framed Pastel Pet Portraits
A day in the life of an artist
So my guild, the Hereford Guild of Craftsmen are just at the beginning of our season of shows which we attend throughout the year. My first is over the Easter holidays at Ledbury Market House and we are upstairs in the historic building which is just stunning. It’s the old timber building you can see below which some people believe was designed by John Abel who was Carpenter to King Charles 1 although this has never been proven. We will be there from 14th to 23rd April every day but sadly there is no disabled access. However, if you are in the town (which is very beautiful) and able to do so, please do pop up to meet us and see our wonderful unique crafted wares! My studio is currently a mess of originals and prints which I am getting ready to take with me for my stand, think it could be a busy few days!
Photo credit the Ledbury Reporter
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.