This gorgeous girl Steffi is to be another Christmas present. It’s been a long time since I have been lucky enough to paint this gorgeous breed. I am so excited to get started that I sketched her out early as I probably won’t be able to start next week.

The portrait is 10×8 inches and will be in pastel as usual. I had a really lovely selection of photos to use, but my client agreed that this one was the best. As you can see it is has been taken in natural light and a slightly overcast day, the best sort of weather to capture photos. You can get more tips here.

I decided with my client in agreement that I would take her back out of the painting. Her you can see what I mean. 

A bit of crude editing, but you can see what I mean.

You can see I also cropped in tighter to her beautiful head so we could see her eyes better.

Here is the sketch, not sure what background I will use yet, will probably decide half way through!

I have made a start on Steffi, I was hoping to do a time lapse, but I have been struck by an awful cold, so I am working as and when I can indoors. It’s not pretty right now with all the tissues everywhere!

Anyway considering how poorly I feel I haven’t faired to badly. If I feel better I attempt to get into the studio tomorrow.

Here is the progress on her portrait so far. I will probably attempt a little more tonight as funnily enough sleep is a bit of a struggle as my nose is so blocked!

They greys on her a tricky to get right, they are a mix of warm and cool greys, even in some places browns and purples, so there is a wide range of colours going into this dog portrait. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right combination, but once I do it will become a lot more straight forward. I am hoping it will click into place fairly soon tomorrow!

A bit like Casi and Bryan’s portraits Steffi’s portrait is now nearly finished. It is just a case of tweaking her and adding any final details tomorrow, this is best done in the daylight as it is surprising what you can miss if the lighting isn’t good enough. I use a daylight lamp for both daytime and evening work, but the final stages of all my pet portraits it is done in my studio in the daylight to enable me to see all the details and tweaks that need to be done. I am really pleased with how she has turned out. I have been undecided about the best background for her portrait, and I did it on a dark grey pastelmat paper. When it was virtually finished I decided I really liked the dark grey, but due to my mucky hands I couldn’t use just the paper for the background. 

I picked a soft pastel of a very similar colour, but decided not to have it all over. There is some very obvious light falling on her and I decided the background should reflect that. I have therefore graduated it from a light grey in the left hand corner to a dark grey. I think it looks great! It reminds me very much of the colours used in Charlie the whippets portrait!

Here is Steffi’s portrait

My client contacted me today to show how her parents had framed Steffi and to let me know how pleased they were with it. I absolutely love their frame choice and it reminds me a bit of a previous dog portrait and the frame and mount I chose for it many years ago.