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

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Horse Portrait - Saffie

This is another Christmas portrait of a beautiful horse called 'Saffie'. There were a number of fabulous photos to choose from but I particularly liked the way we're being given the eye in this shot! The medium is acrylic on board size 18 x 24". I started by painting the whole background in a suggestion of outdoor natural colours but nothing too detailed or specific. After that layer had dried overnight I sketched the horse over the top. Next I painted in blocks of colours, quite thinly at first, as my plan was to make the back of the horse fade into the background whilst still looking solid. I put in areas of strong tonal value next to ensure the balance of the painting before filling in the mid tones. There are some lovely warm areas of burnt sienna on the muzzle and flank so I emphasised these and made sure the areas of shadow were dark enough. Finally I took my favourite sword liner brush and swept in those lovely fine hairs that make up the frizzy fringe, mane and whiskers. I took a very old small round, stippled in some fine dark and light lines to show the slightly longer hairs on the bridge of the nose and I'm thinking Saffie is complete.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Dog Portrait of Nina

It's always lovely to be recommended and this latest commission has come off the back of the portrait of the two jack russells. This is Nina and I sketched her head on cream paper, size 6 x 9". I blocked in the warm browns and oranges first before adding in a little blue to the highlighted areas. Then I added solid black to the shadows and blended it the best I could with my finger. For the rest of the process I used the pastel pencil tips to blend the colours as my finger is bit of a blunt tool when working this small! I used blues and yellow in the highlights, smudging it with white and grey pencils, and I used a deep burgundy brown as well as black in the darker shadows. I decided not to take the picture right to the edge but to fade out the body so the emphasis stays on the face.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Hound and Hare Pastel Portrait

This latest commission of a dog and hare is for a Christmas gift. Magic was a lurcher/saluki collie cross and as the photos supplied didn't show her back legs I sourced other photos and the customer told me she had a white tip to her tail which matches her white socks and bib - very smart! I always struggle with the amount of available daylight at this time of year and in my haste to maximize the light I've only remembered to take a couple of photos to show the stages. Still, I started by cutting some Canson Mi-Tientes pastel paper to size and sketched a bit of Magic (ha ha geddit?!). I blocked in some of the lighter colours, working on white bits, the tongue and the grass colours. Then using a blue pastel I marked out areas on the face as this was the mid-tone on the head. Black fur can look very lifeless if just painted black and as it often reflects the colours around it I chose blue to suggest outdoor light. I worked more detail into the head, blocking in the shadowy areas with black and blending with the blue. The reflective light on the nose I blended with white and grey and put a touch of warm brown into some of the shadows. The hare has some warm browns, yellows and oranges in its coat to contrast with the blue/black of Magic. I blended these together using whites, creams and greys, placing black and dark brown into the shadows around it. I added more colours into the grass, you wouldn't believe how many different shades of green, blue, yellow, brown and cream you need to flick about! I wanted to keep the grass to a minimum, using the texture to link the two animals and leaving the paper blank behind the dog to give her focus and poise.