I know I have been slack with my blog posts. Life just seems to have run away with me recently. Work, adjusting to new covid rules and getting the kids ready for school. It has somewhat disrupted my routine, if there has even been one for the last 6 months. However the pet portraits have taken a little bit of a back seat for the last two weeks.

I am picking up the Rhythm again thankfully as I have a very full order book and no time to waste. If you are looking for pet portraits for Christmas you are currently going to have to go on a waiting list as my books are full unless I manage to get ahead. Please drop me an email if you would like to be added to my list and I can inform you when slots are released on a first come first serve basis.

However I shall return back to the pet portraits I have completed recently. It has been a varied period and I have used all my mediums apart from graphite for all the pet portraits I have completed. As usual it mainly consists of our beautiful doggie companions. So apart from one horse portrait it has been all dog portraits.

Chaos. A Gorgeous Rescue Dog Portrait in Coloured Pencils.

I am going to go with Chaos first. As you know I have been dabbling in coloured pencil for my commissions over the least 9 months or so. Initially I tried pastelmat paper for them as I know some people get some fantastic results and whilst I was pleased with what I was getting it wasn’ quite to my complete satisfaction. 

I know a lot of coloured pencils artists rave about Fabriano Artistico which is a hotpress watercolour paper, but I had been avoiding this as you can’t work light over dark, and to be honest this scared me. Anyway not to be defeated I divided in with Monty’s portrait which didnt have much to it where I needed to add light over dark – the method I use for my pastel pet portraits. I loved the the way the paper felt to work on and how rich the colours went down on it and so much more. I was hooked. So I know it was time to conquer this fear.

I am by no way an expert in getting the effect I want with mottled, speckled fur as in Chaos’ portrait, or those big white whiskers, but I have a few techniques up my sleeve I am working on and hopefully I will maste them. I am sure the true test will come when I have a border terrier or tabhy cat to paint. However I was delighted for my first attmep how his portrait turned out. What do you think? Coloured pencils are definitely going to be a feature moving forward.

Chaos, dog portrait in coloured pencils
Monty, Coloured Pencil Dog Portrait

Chaos was a success as I mentioned with the pencil pet portraits, but the gorgeous Monty was who helped me discover the absolute delights of Fabriano Artistico Hotpress paper. As I mentioned above I was very nervous to use this paper, but I felt with Monty’s portrait it would be a fairly gentle introduction to the paper. I didn’t feel there was much need to for working light over dark, such as whiskers. There was an area on his muzzle that had a combination of white and black fur, but I could easily leave the white of the paper showing here. A lot harder to do that for a long fine whisker, I can assure you!

It was a long process working on his portrait as I had to be careful to build up the layers gradually. It is much harder to remove coloured pencil than it is pastel, or work over a mistake. So I built up the layers gently and slowly. 

However overall I was really happy with his portrait, and really can’t help smile at his huge smile either!

Monty. dog portrait in coloured pencils