Thursday, 23 February 2012


I had a spate of commissions before Christmas involving black coated animals and its amazing just how far black pastel dust travels (or is it just more noticeable than other colours I wonder)?   I made a start on the black labrador pastel today and although I constantly clean my hands I still manage to leave a trail of black fingerprints wherever I go  .....

Not much to see yet but I'm working on Fisher 400 sanded paper and as usual I worked on the eyes first - these will be refined later as they will get dulled by pastel dust in the interim but I can't bear working around empty eye sockets :-)

I'm slowly contouring the face but now I've stopped for the day and taken a step back I can see several areas where the shading/highlighting isn't quite true ... early days yet and I'll be doing lots of tweaking and correcting along the way.     Fisher 400 is a light sandy colour so you can see that the camera has distorted the colour a little as I took the picture just as the light was fading this evening.

Incidentally, David and I were sorting some things out on the computers today and we had 2 laptops and a netbook running at the same time showing the same photograph (the reference for this portrait actually) - the colour variance was amazing and the image on the netbook was much shorter and wider than it should have been.

I know its possible to calibrate the computers but that isn't much good unless the client has done the same ... small wonder I've often been asked whether I could lighten/darker skintones/fur colours if what I'm seeing is so very different from what the client looks at.   

Still I guess there isn't much that can be done about the problem.   Back in 1995 I had my horse portrayed by a professional artist who I met at Hickstead equestrian show.   I sent her an assortment of printed photos by 'snail mail' and a few weeks later received the finished portrait - we had no digital cameras or internet in those days and I just had to 'take my chances' and had no opportunity to view Work in Progress pictures or approve the likeness prior to purchase.

Oh ... and this is the little puppy duly mounted and framed.   There's a bit of glare off the glass but I'm happy with the combination and fingers crossed he'll find himself a new owner at the forthcoming exhibition.


hmuxo said...

DARN you're good!!! I love WIP and this is going to be a winner..I look forward to seeing this finished. And I love the precious puppy! Excellent should be so proud of these.

sue said...

Aww Hilda you make me blush :-). I take that as a great compliment from such a talented lady

Anonymous said...

The puppy turned out great, Sue! And the black lab is a beauty already.

BTW - this is Jan!

Colette Theriault said...

OMG, those eyes are so lifelike and full of expression!! So cute.

sue said...

Thanks Colette ... lets hope he is popular at the upcoming exhibition :-)