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

Friday, 18 July 2014

Michael and pug puppy

This is Michael who is about to turn 21 with his new(-ish) Pug puppy. I have been commissioned by his relatives as a birthday gift to paint him in pastel on A3 pastel paper. I chose a velour pastel paper in dark grey and sketched Michael with the puppy closer to his face and with a more natural grin using these two photos as reference. Once happy with the composition I blocked in the main colours with my Conte pastels. I had to mix the colours as the flesh tint was too orange so I used white, cream pencil pastel and pink to get the skin tones about right. Next I sharpened my pastel pencils and put the darks in accurately, concentrating on the shapes of the eyes, nose, ears and mouth. I wanted to draw the T-shirt quite sketchy to keep the focus on both faces. I added red, blue and grey as well as browns into the shadows but kept my palette fairly limited. Lastly I tightened up on the details, added a tiny amount of shadow to the background and re-visited all of the photos provided to focus on the likeness, especially on the dog. I think I've got them but will have a look with fresh eyes again tomorrow!!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


My latest pastel portrait is of a very sleepy dog called Sidney. I did a portrait of another sleepy dog of theirs called Daisy and they have come back again, this time wanting a special birthday gift. I sketched the basics onto an A4 sized grey Velour Pastel Paper then picked a white pastel to block in the shine on his coat. I used oranges and browns to block in other areas of colour especially on his ginger fringe which apparently is his main feature! I worked on the picture with other brown pastels, picking out subtle shade changes, and then put black into the shadow areas. The final picture in the series is a bit of a leap as lots of details have been put in including the eyes, with pastel pencils. Shades of green and blue have been added to enhance the red/orange hues and finally a hint of the sofa Sidney is snoozing on is hinted at! It's a dogs' life...