Maisie, 8×10 inches, pastel dog portrait

I am so looking forward to doing a golden retriever again. It’s been a while and this time it’s the gorgeous Maisie.

I was sent a selection of lovely photos to work from and after going through them, cropping and editing them we decided on this one to be the reference for the portrait.

My client has opted for 10×8 inch portrait, unframed. I have sketched her out already to go now and will be starting work on her tomorrow, along with finishing up Molly’s portrait.

Below you can see the outline sketch/drawing of Maisy, I have used a colour pencil that will not be too dark to cover the outline. To be honest even if I use black it is never too dark to cover, but it just makes it that little easier, but generally I just grab what is nearest!

As usual I have started with her eyes and blocking in the basic colour. Apart from the extreme dark shadows or bright highlights I have used mostly a derwent burnt ochre to block in. This is because it is pretty much her mid tone colour and from there I can either build up her light fur or dark fur. I always try to pick a mid tone to build up from except for the extremes. You don’t want, with a dog that is is predominantly the same colour to block it all in in the mid tone as you could lose some of the muscle structure or tonal values, so this is why I have really started concentrating on those too.

I have made good progress today. In fact Maisy is nearly finished. My morning involved lugging my huge portrait to the post office. It was a heavy box and what made it even more awkward was the fact it was so large it was hard to grip. Anyway it is on it’s way now.

I returned to Maisie and finished blocking in and started adding the details. Again, with Maisy I waited until she was nearly finished to add in the background. I chose purple, albeit a slightly different shade to the double horse portrait. I love purple and yellow together and that is pretty much what this is, well a sandy golden yellow. It works really well and I am delighted with the choice. I used to use a lot of brown, but now I have moved away from that. I like to give my portraits a slightly more contemporary feel, but not loose the high detail that people have come to love with my pet portraits.

I shall upload a couple of progress shots of Maisie’s portrait, so you can see how it is coming together. Hopefully the stages will be fairly obvious to see.

Tomorrow I shall add the finishing touches and scan the final portrait in. Then on to Lola an Ronnie.

Here is the finished portrait of Maisy. I love the purple background, it works perfectly.

She is all packed up ready to be posted on Monday.