Monday, 10 May 2010


I started work this afternoon on a portrait of Bouncer and as this isn't intended as a surprise gift I have permission to show some work in progress photos along the way.   

As followers of my blog will know, I used to be reluctant to show early stages as portraits always have to go through an 'ugly stage' before the final tweaking/colour adjustments etc., which make all the difference to the final portrait.   

Unfortunately, Bouncer is no longer with us and there are no 'head & shoulder' reference photos available but I have been provided with several full body photos showing her beautiful colouring and we have agreed on the pose this portrait will be based upon.

Here I have sketched the outline and main features/fur direction etc., using white pastel pencil and I have drawn the eyes in so Bouncer's portrait begins to have a little personality.

A little more work:

I'm really just blocking in colours/shadows/highlights at this stage and the portrait will change constantly along the way.   I did do a little more work after this but the light was poor and the photos weren't good so I'll show more updates tomorrow.


Christine said...

The eyes are looking amazing already. I'll be following along to see this develop. Great work!

Pauline said...

Looking lovable already, so sad when a beloved pet passes on, we have had 2 in the family recently and consequently 2 puppies to fill the so I am hoping to get some good puppy photos.

sue said...

Thank you Christine - I appreciate your looking and commenting.

Thanks Pauline. Sorry to hear about the loss of your two pets but I'm jealous of the pups and can't wait to see your pics. We're about to become Grandparents for the first time in October - but I really wish she'd decided on a puppy instead :o)

Karen said...

Looking beautiful already. I know haw sad it is when a much loved pet dies, I'm sure this portrait will be a delightful reminder.
I'm going to be a bit cheeky now and ask you what is th best way to sharpen pastel pencils. I have a cheap hand held pastel pencil sharpener which doesn't get a sharp point, nor does an ordinary sharpener or my battery operated pencil sharpener. So then I tried using a craft blade and failed miserably, the movement jarred my bad shoulder badly and also took me ages to do just one pencil. So any ideas or tips? I will be very grateful for any suggestions.

sue said...

Hi Karen

I use a cheap handle driven (manual) spiral cutting sharpener which fixes to my desktop. Periodically Lidl supermarkets promote art materials and these sharpeners cost around £2.50 each. With regular daily use (on coloured pencils and pastel pencils) I reckon on changing the sharpener every 3 or 4 weeks as it starts to break rather than sharpen pencils.

I do use craft blades and also sandpaper to get a sharper point but I prefer the easier option of using my sharpener :o)

Karen said...

Thanks, Sue. I will look out for the next Lidl promotion!