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.
Merry Christmas (again)
10 months ago