Friday, 12 February 2010


Change of plan!!

It was so sunny and bright this morning I decided to work on the portrait of the black spaniel, Molly, instead of continuing work on Meg. I find black fur/hair the hardest to work on in poor light - hence my decision.

Although it may not be evident from these photos, I have incorporated lots of blues, greens and reds into Molly's coat to help 'lift' the colour. Black pastel used alone would give a very 'flat' and unrealistic effect.

Needless to say, after just a couple of hours the weather took a turn for the worse and the light disappeared.

I continued to add base colour, blocking in the most obvious areas of light and dark. Because the reference photo was taken in bright sunlight, there are a lot of shadows cast.

After another couple of hours:

and this is where I finished for the day. These photographs are taken fairly 'close up' so they are a little 'warts & all' - pastels are always better viewed from a distance I think :o)

I did take another photo of Meg's portrait this morning, whilst the light was better and this is pretty accurate colour-wise:

I will leave the portraits of Meg and Molly to one side for the weekend and come back to them with fresh eyes next week. It will also give my fingers time to heal. I like to blend pastels with my fingers but this sanded paper isn't kind and if not careful I end up with shredded fingertips (ouchy stumps as a friend calls them). I can't risk spilling blood on the pictures !!


pett paintings said...

Love both of these Sue are they both for one client? they would make a great "pair" on the wall, great job on those blacks ;-)

sue said...

Thanks Kay. Yes they are both for one client. Started out as a gift voucher for a double portrait but at client's request I am doing them as separate portraits.

Grahame Butler said...

Great work Sue, and very interesting to see how you build up your drawings.

sue said...

Thanks Grahame.

I work differently on this Fisher 400 sanded paper as I prefer to get a base colour down and then build up detail all over.

On non-sanded papers I tend to conform to the rules about working left to right (i'm right handed)completing one area at a time.

I've no idea why this should be ... just the way its evolved :o)

Stephanie Greaves said...

Beautiful! You made a great job of the black one, I have a black lab to do next and Im dreading it!!!