I often get asked why I do most of my pet portraits in pastels rather than oils. Well there’s a very practical answer in that my studio is in the converted loft in the family home and I can easily move my work downstairs to continue working on it when my kids are home from school. However there are other more important reasons.
I’ve explained here before how the pastel medium also produces a unique richness of colour, tones and contrasts I love working with so it gives me more creative as well as practical flexibility.
They also say “but surely an oil portrait is the real thing and enduring medium”. To be honest that’s a bit of a myth. The outcome of oil versus pastel work is often indistinguishable and the latter is less expensive as commissions can be quicker to complete.
And a piece of pastel art is as enduring as oil as long as it is professionally mounted and framed and carefully handled and looked after like any piece of artwork – all art will fade over time if kept in direct sunlight but I use the most archival materials for my pet portraits.
The final reason for my focus on pastels is customer choice. A few years ago when the majority of work was in acrylic medium and I started experimenting in pastels, the proportion of my workload quickly started shifting towards the latter. I managed to develop my own unique style that people really liked.
That said I am happy working in all mediums and enjoy the variety of doing commissions in each. Why not take a look and see what you think. Here are my dog portraits or if horses are your thing horse portraits.