Welcome to my pet and family portrait blog. If you have commissioned a portrait you can see how it is progressing. If you would like to commission me to paint your pet, family or friend then visit my site at www.katetugwellportraits.com
Fancy learning how to draw and paint? See my art classes website at www.katesartclasses.com

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Large Painting of Otto

Otto is coming along nicely: I've lost all the white canvas now and the fur is starting to look more 3-D. As you can see from the previous post, I'm painting the fur in quite a bit more detail than I usually do for a first layer. This is because I'm working on a big canvas and don't want to lose myself in the large spaces. Now the canvas is covered and I'm happy with the proportions of the dog I can start to embellish the detail, add more colours into the coat and correct the tonal values.

It's getting much easier now the days are getting longer, there's more daylight in which to paint which is great as I've got lots of lovely commissions lined up in my studio. It helps with the creative process to move away from the painting I'm primarily working on for a bit and work on another so I can come back with fresh eyes - I've now noticed a few bits on Otto that I need to attend to tomorrow! I'm also enjoying writing some new art classes which are filling up quickly. There are just a handful of places left on the two courses starting in Storrington at the end of the month and there will be a repeat of the portraiture workshops as they are now full. Please visit: www.katesartclasses.com for more information and come and join the creative crowd!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Large painting of Otto

This bright-eyed intelligent looking dog is the next commission up on my easel and it's a big A1 canvas board. I've been itching to start this one as I had a lot of lovely photos to choose from and I thought this pose summed him up well. He seems to love the outdoors and is eager to play. I spent a good time sketching out the fur and getting Otto onto the right part of the canvas for a pleasing composition. I decided to focus particularly on his head and eyes so this will be painted in detail with the surrounding fur and pebbles in soft focus. I established the eyes, nose and mouth first, just to give myself an anchor point. It's quite useful for me to see the photo of the painting with the original photo at the same size on this blog as I'm working with such a size difference on canvas. For the next stage I started painting in the pebbles: I included quite a few different earthy colours in them to start with and then unified them with more greens. I may knock the colours back even more later if they distract too much from Otto. At the third stage I've started painting the shadows in Otto's fur, putting base colours of pinks and browns underneath where the fur covers his ears and eyes. The layers of detail are being applied... I may be some time!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Sophie the Staffy-Rhodesian Ridgeback

This is Sophie, a lively Staffy-Rhodesian Ridgeback. Her owners sent me loads of photos but this was their favourite expression. The size is 16 x 12" and the medium is pastel. I started by sketching her face onto Ingres Pastel paper. Base colours of white, yellow ochre, dark brown, black and pink were blocked in to start with taking care to get the features in the right place. Then I built up the detail from the top left to avoid smudging the drawing and when I was happy with the shaping and general colour values I went over it again with finer detailed pencil pastels, adding whiskers and darkening the eyes and areas around her nose. Her smooth coat really works well with pastels and there's a surprising amount of orange added in to lift the colour!