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Springer Spaniel Pet Portrait in pastel

springer spaniel pet portrait

This is the lovely Mutley. He’s had a bit of a rough time of late and had to have major surgery which thankfully he pulled through and so deserves his very own springer spaniel pet portrait.

Mutley is also the Christmas Tree King. His owners grow them and every day as they go to work on them (yes it is a year round job!) he inspects their vast tree orchard and searches out bunnies and generally romps around having a wonderful time (lucky dog)
Mutley’s portrait is 12 x 16 inches and as usual, pastel on pastelmat which as you all now know is my favourite combination.

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As you can see Mutley was firmly attached to my easel using low tack framers tape, this kept him under control as I did my pastel magic. I used a white pencil to sketch out my lines and began by using panpastels to block the background in and various brands of pastel pencils for the finer detailed areas.

springer spaniel pet portrait stage 2

The image above gives you an idea of my layering technique, I tend to add the darker areas underneath with fine light coloured details on top, this helps gives the impression of fur.

springer spaniel pet portrait stage 3

The chest area now shows how those layers build up in a fur like manner, it’s just a case of repeatedly adding pencil strokes in the direction of fur. You can see Mutley has an almost pinky shade underneath his chin.

er spaniel pet portrait stage 4

And now you really see how those layers pay off, the fur on the leg looks really dense thanks to lots of layers underneath but also by using pencil strokes similar to the fur so this is short repetitive lines.

springer spaniel pet portrait stage 5

So here is Mutley fixed to my easel. I use it at an almost upright angle, the loose pastel falls off and I use a bridge to prevent any smudging from my arm as I work. The bridge means I can jump about the portrait rather than having to work from one side to another. I find it helps with back and neck ache working in this position too. Previously I had worked over a desk which really did hurt after a short time, but this way means I can continue working for longer sessions before the ache takes over!

springer spaniel pet portrait stage 6

So almost getting there with Mutley now, and then it’s the background to put in.

springer spaniel pet portrait

I used panpastels for the softer focus background at the top and pastel pencils for all that grass.

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See more springer spaniel portraits

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