This is the photograph I chose to base my latest commission on as I liked both dogs' stance. This pastel is a commission for a birthday present and as a memorial of these two friends, Tolley and Bonnie. After drawing the dogs onto Canson Mi Tientes pastel paper I started working from the top left corner, light colours first, to reduce the chance of smudging the soft pastels. I worked on Bonnie, the collie, first, noting the blue/greys and ginger/browns in her coat, highlighting the white fur and removing the blue bandage. I used a black pastel to mark out the entrance to St. Cuthbert's cave, a significant place for the owners of the dogs. After a couple of layers of pastel were applied and smudged in, I went over the top of the image with sharper pastel pencils to get the details right. Next I started work on Tolley, a Rottweiler/lurcher, blocking in the main areas of colour. Again I smudged in the base colours before concentrating on the detail. I added texture to the grass with lots of different shades of green. It's nearly finished but there are a number of details to correct and sharpen before I'll be completely happy to sign it off. The trouble with pastel colour is that it moves, and if the face is small, one speck of pastel dust can change the whole expression. It does, however, really lend itself to the wispy fur of a collie.
Merry Christmas (again)
10 months ago