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
This is Sonny, a Jardine's parrot, nibbling on a malted milk biscuit (from what I can make out!). The pastel portrait commissioned was quite big (16 x 20") and the photo was very small (taken with a phone), which when enlarged went all pixelated. The customer sent me lots of others and a bird fanatic friend of mine identified Sonny as a Jardine's parrot. She sent me links to other photos which gave me more detail to work with so the portrait could begin... I sketched the pose, blocked in the main areas of colour and gently smudged them together to form a base and prevent the paper showing through. Next I concentrated on tonal values adding white to highlight the feathers and strong blacks to emphasise the markings and shadows. I put the vertical bars of the cage in using a grey and a black pastel pencil alongside a ruler which created lots of dust and smudging which I carefully removed before the next phase. I decided not to draw any horizontal bars as I quite liked the simplicity of the vertical bars hinting at the cage. There are some beautifully vibrant colours in his feathers which I mixed using green, yellow and blue with touches of scarlet and orange, blending the colours with the pastels themselves to prevent them from going muddy. Finally I had to make a trip to the corner shop to buy a packet of malted milk biscuits for reference purposes only of course. Half the packet demolished and a cup of tea later (I'd forgotten how good they were!) the biscuit was nearly finished... and then the packet was!!!