I have finally completed this drawing. I have certainly taken my time on this, blending and re-blending to get the tones just how I wanted them. I will be sad to see this pair go as I have got quite attached to them. It is completed in pastel on Canson Mi Teintes paper.
Pastel progress drawing of my latest piece – Snow Spaniel. This was a intriguing episode in my development as an artist. I have been following a few brilliant pet artists on social media. I noticed that they all do quite detailed pencil drawings initially before applying colour. I’ve been practising my pencil sketching as well, which lead me to try and do a more detailed under sketch before starting this drawing. It was a mistake, convinced that I had sketched it correctly I applied the pastel quite freely ignoring my artist’s eye which kept telling me that something was wrong. Eventually I listened to it and ditched the drawing today. Starting with a new piece of paper I began the drawing again how I normally do them as you can see in the above progress shots. I start blocking in the shadow areas and build up the colour from there as you would do with a painting. It is called snow spaniel because there’s a lovely sprinkling of snow on his head. I am looking forward to completing that part with white pastel at the end.
Time to share some of my Christmas commissions. This is Aero, a King Charles spaniel. I could tell immediately that the reference photo would make an excellent sensitive drawing. I have drawn him in conte pastel pencil, conte soft pastels and sennelier pastels. The reference photo had one eye almost closed so I needed to open it up more otherwise it would look unusual. It is a good example of when artistic licence is needed, in a photo it looks fine because we know its a photo so it must be correct, but different sized eyes in a drawing is judged to be an error.
Start of my next drawing. This is a pet dog drawing commission of a golden spaniel. It is completed in conte pastel and pastel portrait. This first stage is laying down the dark pastel and marking out the proportions. The next stage of the dog portrait will be to go over the proportions and begin to build up the detail and colours. The palette is limited 7 or 8 colours.
This is a drawing of my dog Charlie, I wanted to show how expressions in a dog are brilliant to capture in artform. I often get asked to draw pet portraits that are quite posed and traditional however there is a new wave of pet art coming to the fore which is much more expressive with the view of capturing certain characteristics of the pet rather than a staged one. This is one of Charlie’s many different expressions, its the challenge in the eyes of him wanting me to chase him around the house to retrieve the sock back.
Flyball Dog is now complete. She has been drawn in pastel pencil and conte soft pastels. I wanted to keep it as soft as possible by ensuring that the feeling of motion was maintained. It has been drawn on Canson cream coloured paper, on the reverse side because it is smoother