Monday, 5 October 2009

05/10: SPARKY. JRT IN PASTEL

En route to Birmingham on Friday I had a phone call to say the scanned photo of Bobby (poodle) had been seen by my client's Mum-in-law and she burst into tears, said it was a perfect likeness and no changes needed!! That was unexpected but very welcome ...

So I started work on Sparky yesterday afternoon. Sparky's owner is sadly retiring from the police force on health grounds and this little dog helps him cope with his illness. It has been commissioned by his brother and sister-in-law.

I'm working in pastel on Clairefontaine pastelmat and it has taken a while to get used to this combination as I haven't worked on Pastelmat for some time. The pastels don't blend as well on pastelmat as they do on Fisher 400 sanded paper but I particularly wanted to use this colour background as I believe its quite a close match to the rug Sparky is sitting on in the ref photo.

I didn't get much done yesterday afternoon because the weather was gloomy and I lost the light in my workroom very early. I do have a daylight lamp on my working desk but I struggle with black and dark colours in poor light (my eyes ain't what they used to be)!!




I was so intent on trying to blend the blues/blacks today I forgot to take an interim Work in Progress photo .. never mind, its beginning to take shape now



Again, I've been beaten by the light, but its time to prepare dinner anyway and relax a little. I've started working on Sparky's neck/chest hair and that went very quickly. Having taken a step back and had a really good look at it, I can see I need to adjust the white markings around Sparky's nose/muzzle - nothing major, I obviously got a little carried away with the white pastel! The colour isn't quite accurate because I photographed this stage in artificial light


11 comments:

geraldine.boley@googlemail.com said...

This is looking good Sue,
that expression is priceless! just so J.R.T

sue said...

thanks Geraldine. Its nice to have a good reference photo to work from :o)

Jo said...

Looking good Sue, I've got a JRT next too.

Jan said...

It's looking really good, Sue! I'm sure these clients will be just as thrilled as Bobby's owner was!

Angela Finney said...

Sparky is really looking good!

Congratualations on the client being so estatic with Bobby -- you did a great job getting his expression even though the references were difficult to work with.

Belated congratulations on getting three of your works in the UKCPS! That is quite an honor. Sounds like you had a fun trip to go to the show too!

Congratulations, too, on having so many Christmas commissions! The business is not going as well for me this year as it was this time last year.

Angela Finney said...

Sparky is really looking fabulous, Sue.
It is really great that the client was so estatic with Bobby's portrait -- you really captured his expression well despite the not so good references.

Belated congratulations on your acceptance of three pieces in the UKCPS -- a wonderful honor. It sounds like you had a fun trip going to see the show, too.

It sure is wonderful that your portrait business is going so well, also. I am not as busy now as I was last year this time, unfortunately.

Jennifer Rose said...

very cute:D great job with the eyes, very lifelike. and you made the coat shine :)

Erik said...

Looking great Sue!

sue said...

Thank you - I'm really enjoying this one, although it took me a while to get used to using pastelmat again. Of the four ref. photos supplied, this wasn't actually my favourite, but it was the one the client liked best and, as Geraldine said, it kind of sums up that cheeky 'what me'? attitude that JRTs seem to excel at :o)

pett paintings said...

Wow Sue this is gorgeous! I have a soft spot for the JRT anyway but this is exceptional such a great expressive portrait~ glad I'm not alone in struggling with pastelmat! (I think I will add Fisher 400 to my christmas wish list)

sue said...

Thanks Kay
Once I got into the swing I coped better with the paper but every now and then I just couldn't get the pastel pencils to lay down any colour - they just scraped the surface (mainly happened with the Conte pencils - not so bad with Faber-Castell Pitts). I was going to use Fisher 400 for this but didn't fancy doing a background and the colour wouldn't have worked very well. I've just pushed the boat out and ordered a pad of Sennelier pastel card (gone for the larger size as I don't get many orders for A4 portraits - there are 12 sheets 2 x 6 colours in the pad so just hope I like the paper) :o)