So the next lucky subject to be turned into one of my pet portraits is Paddington, the stunning Golden retreiver. I can’t wait to get started on him. Last year I had the honour of painting his fur brother Cooper last year. Cooper had a beach background but apparently Paddington loves his garden so for his portrait I am going to do an out of focus green garden type background behind him. 

My client want’s a matching frame, but due to Covid-19 I can’t get that frame at the moment, luckily my client and others have been so understanding of this difficult circumstance and we are playing everything by ear. Fingers crossed we can get back to some sort of normality soon! 

Back to Paddington. Here is the reference photograph for his pet portrait. Isn’t he handsome? His colouring is also very similar to Tia who I painted last month.

Photo reference for Paddingtons pet portrait

Starting Paddington’s Pet Portrait

After a bit of an up and down week I finally sat down and sketch out my next two pet portraits. One of course being Paddington and the other a cockerpoo. 

I decided as they are both having similar backgrounds I would get most of them done at the same time as my panpestels would be out and they are so damn fiddly to get the lids back on. Someone please tell me they have the same trouble and it’s not just me!

I am going for a green out of focus background for both of them, but JJ the cockerpoo is going to have some sky in his, where as Paddington isn’t. I used my cheap ebay sponges for the application and got most of the background finished. There maybe some tweaking on both, in fact there definitely will be. Once that was done it was time to make a start on the handsome Paddington. JJ has been popped on oneside for the time being.

Below is a photo of the background finished.


Paddingtons Ear and more….

I have been a bit stop start today and this will be another quick update as we are going to join our little street party for VE day, despite having no food haha. We need to do a shop.

I have done two quick live streams. One was yesterday, I am not sure how informative it is, but I hope you maybe able to get some information on how I create ears. Particularly long haired ears. It is very much all about the layers and the order in which you apply to colours and layers. 

I normally start blocking in the shapes and tones, it is particulary useful to pay attnetion to the under layers of the fur as you want to draw those in first and the build on top. This then creates the realistic look of depth to the fur and it so straightfoward with pastels as the are fabulous for layering either light over dark or dark over light. 

You are simply working on the layers in order, so you look at the bottom layers of fur and do those first work up and finishing up with the top layers. Easy right?! Creating pet portraits is very logical really.

Have a watch of the video and see what you think. Of course sometimes you have to go back over pieces and rework areas, but again pastels are such a veratile medium it is very easy.  Paddingtons ear

Below you can watch a little video I filmed to capture the details in his ear. I love these quick videos. Although weirdly I never noticed the plane flying overhead when I took it!

Here is an impromptu video/live stream I did if you would like to watch it.

Paddingtons Silky Fur

Paddington has the most beautiful silky fur and it is really important to capture that for her pet portrait. I am using a mixture of warm greys and, white and creams to capture this. I do blend a little with my finger to soften the pencil strokes, I only do this very gently and again in the direction the fur falls as I don’t want to turn the colours to mud or lose too much of the detail. It works really well, and then I can go over again gently picking out the details, highlights and shadows that create the depth.

In the reference photograph for the portrait you can see his legs hanging over the side of a chair. I am taking those out and putting him in a sitting postion. I need to add the bottom third of his body in and I will look up some helpful reference omages online to give me the missing informtation. This is my job for tomorrow.

It will then be a case of putting the finishing touches in on the background and on Paddington and make sure they both tie together.