I am working on a particularly large portrait for me. My most popular sizes tend to be 10×8 inches or 10×12 inches. This is large for me at 20×20 inches. It is a portrait of a black lab. Due to its size I have decided to use pastel sticks instead of pencils. It gives more coverage quicker and the colours seem so much more vibrant. I am really enjoying the change. It is definitely different to the pastel pencils. Pencils seem to give you more control than the sticks and you can easily sharpen them to a fine point of detail.

With the sticks you have to break them to get a sharp point and I can tell you as a pastel artist it is really hard to break up those gorgeous sticks of colour. It seems to go against everything I know. But it really does make a difference and gives you the opportunity to make lots of different marks.

They also blend differently to pencils, so this portrait is definitely a learning curve.

One thing I have learnt being a pet portrait artist is you never stop learning!