Wednesday, 10 February 2010


As I explained to Meg's owner yesterday, I don't usually show clients the early stages of my portraits as they go through such an 'ugly' stage at first :o)

I'm using a variety of pastel pencils for this portrait - mainly Conte, Carbothello, Faber-Castell and Derwent on Fisher 400 sanded paper. When using Fisher 400 I like to get down a base layer of colour pretty much all over and then build up detail on top. So ... this is very much a 'don't do as I do, do as I say' progress report ... I know that conventionally I'm supposed to work from left to right, finishing one small area at a time - and I do that when working on less 'toothy' papers.

The weather here is doing all sorts of funny things ... bright sunshine, followed by snow showers and grey clouds - so I've been up and down like a yo-yo switching the overhead lights and my daylight lamps on and off. As a result, the photos aren't very consistent. Probably the truest is the first photo here - the Fisher 400 paper is a light sandy colour.

Here, I've basically outlined Meg and, as usual, started with her eyes

More base colours added here, and I've drawn in her nose. This was photographed with flash camera last night

Meg has so many beautiful, delicate colours showing in her coat so I'm using lots of pinks/violets/creams and light browns at this stage. I can't confirm the exact colours as, unlike coloured pencils, many of the pastels are numbered rather than named.


Dors said...

Looking great Sue. It's really good to see a WIP on Meg. gorgeous sad looking eyes as they have.

Stephanie Greaves said...

Oh Sue the eyes are so adorable!Very ' real'.
Oh, and as I am typing my eyes are drawn to the tabby cat on your home page. Just like my own 'Pepper'. Love it!

sue said...

Thanks for commenting :o)

The tabby is called Gizmo - she was commissioned as a birthday present last year. She is pretty isn't she?

"JeanneG" said...

I love the drawing of Meg. She is a beauty. I don't show work I am doing for commissions until they are finished. Then if they don't want them, they have a choice not to take them. I have had people say that the animal is heavier in the drawing even tho it is from the photo (they were seeing the dog in person.) Or they want me to give them a haircut as they usually have shorter hair (I'm not a groomer). And other such things. Usually when they see the finish, they are happy. And I am happier not to deal with the stress.