Friday, 2 March 2012


I'm calling the dog pastel finished now

This frame may not be to everyone's taste but I love real wood, oak in particular.  A local art group I used to belong to was given a selection of framed pictures to dispose of as they wished (the owner having passed away).   Three pictures were in a very sorry state - damp had penetrated and they were generally old and dirty - looks as though they may have been hung in a pub at some stage.   So I took pity on them and rescued them from the bin.  They've been gathering dust at my house ever since.   I've scrubbed the top layer of grime from the wood.  The inner bars are wood painted to look like brass but I seem to have mislaid one - I'll have to cannibalise one of the other frames.   The great thing is that the bars will prevent the surface of the pastel from touching the glass so I won't need to double mount the picture. 

I've laid the frame and 3 bars roughly in place to show how it will look

and this is the frame side by side with a non-cleaned one:   oops: sorry its upside down, but you can see just how grimy the frames were.

I hope the glass will clean up - but if not we have a good glass cutting firm nearby so it shouldn't be a problem. 

I nearly finished the cat today - this time I've used pastels on light grey Clairefontaine Pastelmat to give my sore fingers a rest (they're suffering because I use them to blend pastel which isn't a good idea when using sanded paper)!

OK .... this photo was taken tonight but the colours have suffered a bit as I've lost the natural daylight.  I'm not 100% happy with the eyes so will work more on them when back at the drawing board on Sunday.

and a couple of WIP photos:

I have the usual Saturday round of visiting the 'three old ladies'  ..... Mum, Mum-in-Law, and Roxy (horse) so that means no art till Sunday.   I have lots of photo/prints to put into mounts/cellophane wrappers ready for next week's exhibition so its going to be a busy couple of days - fingers crossed the public are in the mood to spend money :-)


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

:D great collie!!

I think the frame goes really well with the collie, the brass painted wood really brings out the eyes

Karen Hull Art said...

Fabulous portraits Sue and that frame is perfect for the Collie - you've done a wonderful job of cleaning it up. You blow me away with how much work you get through - amazing - and love seeing your WIP shots too!!! :)

Anonymous said...

The dog portrait turned out great - I really like the background and the frame.
Your kitty looks good too. I don't know what you'd change about the eyes but know you'll do what it needs & it will be perfect.
Have fun with the old ladies today!
How did you know the last post was me? lol

hmuxo said...

Two beautiful portraits, Sue!! But the Collie is GORGEOUS!! It's worn out already from me looking at it. When you begin the painting, do you put regular pastels for the underpainting or is it strictly pastel pencils?

DEB said...

You do such beautiful pet portraits, Sue! Your clients are so fortunate to be on your commission schedule!

Sjamesportraiture said...

Great portraits! Your eyes are so appealing.

sue said...

Thank you ladies ... I'm pleased you think the frame works as I really like the combination. The frames are such solid wood its a shame not to find a use for them.

I do have some soft pastels Hilda and I sometimes 'underpaint' with these and finish with pencils but it depends on the size of the portrait and the support I'm using. I used pan pastels for the background here (using the 3 colours which were sent to me as a trial sample) but the collie is drawn 100% with pencils.

Hi Jan .... I'm psychic :-) Thanks for commenting.

The cat is for next week's exhibition and is based partly on my (deceased) Black tabby, Dyson, and partly from another ref as I don't have good clear photos of Dyson's eyes which were grey/blue colour. Just needs a little more tweaking I think

artbyakiko said...

Beautiful portraits! I just love this kitty!

sue said...

Thank you Akiko, He's based on an old photo of 'Dyson' a wonderful rescue kitty who sadly didn't make it beyond his first year. Originally named Tyson we renamed him Dyson when we discovered his bad eating habits (hoovered up anything edible). I have used references from other sources also because my photos weren't too clear.

Doreen Cross said...

Beautiful work on both these pieces. Love them. and the frame is perfect.