Meet Fergus, His Mum won his personalised dog portrait in an online auction for GSDR (German Shepherd Dog Rescue) which is my favourite charity after I adopted two of their beautiful dogs.
Fergus is definitely a handsome chap and I took him to two shows where I was exhibiting as my demo piece and he proved fantastically popular. I even gained a double GSD portrait thanks to him!
I used anthracite pastelmat for Fergus’ personalised dog portrait. His reference photo was taken on a sunny but snow filled day so he had quite a highlight on one side of his face with shadow on the other so I had to even them up a little, lightening up the dark side so both eyes would be visible on the portrait. I found my Derwent pastel pencils had all the perfect shades and colours for a german shepherd, something worth remembering for the next one!
I often let my pastel pencils go blunt depending on what I am working on. For the eyes to blend and look glassy, I don’t want sharp pencils as I want everything to mix together, a blunt pastel is ideal for this.
You should now be able to see how the fur is being built up simply by using lots of fine layers in those special german shepherd colours! Lots of light pressured strokes are needed it’s pretty time consuming but at the end the effort has been worth it.
And now the very handsome boy is really starting to take shape. In his reference image he was sat at such an odd angle, one leg looked like it was hugely muscled and the other looked very skinny. To remedy this I blurred out his chest and below as I don’t think all my skills could have helped me ‘rebuild’ him correctly!
And here he is this personalised dog portrait being signed off. his Mum is very excited that his portrait is completed and soon he’ll be whizzing up country to Manchester (hopefully he won’t have to suffer as much snow this coming winter as we all did in the one just gone!)
And here he is all done. Isn’t he a good looking boy! I’m pretty sure he’s a Mummy’s boy as she absolutely adores him. It was nice to be able to raise money for GSDR too so all in all a very good end.
Behind the scenes…
So something is afoot in the garden. Hubby is tractor and military mad and suddenly these things start creeping up near my studio, I think I need to have a word with him!!!
As some of you may know it’s been an odd year for weather in the UK, currently we are basking in an elongated heat wave which I love but sadly my dogs aren’t as keen on. This is where I took them today for a cool down and a splash, something they did very much enjoy!
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.