Finally I am back to the pastels and I am living it. Not that I don’t love my watercolours. Actually I just love painting, and as the last 10 days there hasn’t been much due to admin and post office runs etc, it finally feels like a I have a full week to 10 days to really focus on the commissions I have.

First two up are Pickle and then it two Australian cattle dogs. I will be starting their blog today too.

Pickle is a wedding present and his frame is already here. I hope to get most of his portrait done by the end of the bank holiday. I know that sounds quick, but I tend to work 12 hour days plus!

I had a lovely reference photo to work from. You can see it below. I am changing the backgeound in Pickles portrait to make him the real focus. Below you can see his outline sketch too.

Pickle sketch

I have started blocking in Pickles eyes and shading in the light and shade so I can build up from there. Concentrating on making sure I put all my pencil strikes in the direction of Pickles fur. Once I have the basic lights and darks down I can then continue working on his shape and start adding in some detail. All the time making sure I am being aware of his proportions and colouring.

Below you can see two steps in this process

I have been having a think about the background to Pickles portrait. I am quite liking the grey of the paper I have chosen, but I can’t use the paper as I didn’t protect it while I was working so it has got to dirty to save it. I can however choose a background along those lines. Perhaps a little lighter. I will also be adding a shadow under Pickle to ‘ground’ him.

I proceeded with the grey background for Pickle’s portrait. I am so glad I did, he looks great. I also placed a shadow under him I used a purplish grey. I like the fact it added some colour to Pickle’s portrait other than him himself.

After emailing the client the final image the dog portrait you see below I was given the go ahead to frame. He is to be a wedding gift to the brides parents, so it was essential we met the deadline of the end of next week.

Pickle's finished pastel dog portrait. With a grey background and measuring 11x9 inches

I think you will agree too, the grey works well for his portrait. With the deadline in mind I got on with framing and signing the portrait pretty much straight away. I have to say this is one of my favourite mouldings. I use a thinner version for my original wildlife art. It is a lovely colour, goes with most decor and artwork I have done. Below you can see how well it compliments Pickles

Remember I have lot’s of frames to choose from for your pet portrait and I can often source ones that aren’t listed on my suppliers website.