Here is my latest pastel piece, a terrier dog portrait of Poppy, but better known to readers of my blog as my studio assistant Little Poo.
12×16 inches, panpastels, sticks and pencils on pastelmat.
She’s a little cutie with a huge personality as all the best terriers are! She is always scruffy so it would have been pointless brushing her as she never looks tidy so she’s been left as she is with bed-head and flyaway fur!
For the photo to be used as the reference for this portrait (see my photo tips guide to help you take your own) she was on the garden bench but was a proper little fidget so it took a few bribes to get her to sit still, she was far too interested in what was going on everywhere else!
The original background was a mass of trees, leaves and branches so I decided to keep it pretty plain leaving all the focus on little Poppy. As ever, once the background was put in with panpastels, I started work on the eyes so I had a point to work from. Then it was just a matter of layering colours with sticks to achieve the base layers then pencils on the top for details.
As the background was so dark I over played the highlights around her ears to make her really stand out, this makes her look more realistic I feel. I love adding collars and tabs and Poppy has a wonderful red collar with a big silver buckle. Fab fun to do!
The rest of Poppy is white (or would be if she was clean!) but it’s surprising how many colours are in fact hidden in there, a bit of her red/ginger shading does show up as freckles down her legs but there’s a bit of brown, pink, yellow and grey to be going on with too!
I love Poppy’s fluffy bits, I really enjoyed adding them to make her look like she was just catching the breeze and it again adds to making her look more real.
The shot above shows how light the layers need to be so as not to fill the nap of the pastelmat too quickly. This allows me to add lots of layers to get the colours right and all that flyaway fur!
You can see above how the layers are starting to build up the fur effect, you can also see how many colours there are in white fur! You can also see I’ve completed the bench, it really makes Poppy look real now.
I loved adding the fluff on Poppy, it really brought her to life, plus it was fun to do!
So here she is all done, ready to be framed!
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.