Joe, Pastel Dog Portrait. 10×8 inches.

I am absolutely going to do a decent blog for you about a recent pet portrait finally! I have been promising for a long time and I keep letting you down!

This handsome chap is Joe. I have done a few pet portraits for this client now and I am honoured to be able to do another for them. Sadly Joe has now crossed rainbow bridge, but as the other portraits, I am delighted to get the opportunity to give them a wonderful and lasting memory of Joe

This is the reference photo supplied for his portrait and we are going to be staying pretty true to that. His portrait fits better in landscape as opposed to portrait.

Here is the outline sketch, ready to start work on him tomorrow. I chose the brown pastelmat, as Joe is predominantly brown so it takes some of the hard work out of his portrait as the base layer is already a close colour.

As you can see he has lots of curly fur for me to get my pencils into and I can’t wait!

Below you can see, hopefully, the outline sketch of Joe’s portrait. As usually I forget to take my photos in decent daylight. Not that I think we had any yesterday. Today has been glorious compared!

Today has been an itty bitty day so unfortunately I haven’t really had much of a chance to look at Joe’s portrait, hopefully tomorrow I will have a clearer day to focus on him. I had to frame Seren’s portrait and do a few other bits and pieces. Quite a few enquiries and invoice raising etc. Yoou often find it goes like that. I wish I could spend all day every day painting pet portraits but I can’t! If anyone is interested as a side note I am doing a blog on my other website talking a bit about the history of Sarah’s Pet Portraits. You can read it here if you would like.

Back to Joe. I have started working on his eyes and blocking in some of the different colours that will make up Joe, the darks, browns, mostly around his eyes at the moment and working out. I tend to like to do most of the eyes on my pet portraits, it gives them character and personality, not to mention it looks a little creepy having an animal with no eyes looking at you, or not as is the case!

Hopefully, although not the best quality photo, you can see why I chose the brown pastelmat for Joe.

I made some really good progress on Joe’s portrait yesterday and today. I have a few more photos of the stages of his pet portrait to update.

In the above photo I have started filling out Joe’s undercoat so to speak. Laying out the foundations of colour and light and dark areas further out from his eyes My camera is awful, so I apologise for this. I need to look at why it takes such poor photos of my pet portraits. You can also see I have worked some more on Joe’s eyes.

I continue with this until all the shadows and highlights and base colours are down. From there I can start adding some details to Joe.

In the above photo, you can see I have blocked in most of the areas and started adding some details. I build on this now all over his portrait slowly building up the layers and colours.

The list of colours I have used are:

Derwent, chocolate, burnt carmine, burnt ochre, and venitian red.

Carbothellos, 750, 726, 724, 681 (a very pale pink which I use for a lot of highlights in all my pet portraits) and 645

Faber Castells 177, 199, 189, 186 and 188

I am sorry I can’t name all the colours, but hopefully giving you the codes will enable you to pick them out. I have never bought a complete set of pastel paintings, I have always bought individual ones to sort for my pet portraits and I now I have my go to selection. I will one day take the time to compile this list for you.

Here is a can of the final pet portrait of Joe. My client has approved it so I have been framing Joe today. I have use a frame that matches previous pet portraits I have painted for them. It is a lovely wood frame with grain running through it. It is one of my more popular frames, Simple clean lines keep a contemporary look that would work well hanging in both modern and traditional houses.