I have just finished these two portraits of Bryn and Gigi - two greyhounds commissioned together as A3 pastel paintings. I worked on them simultaneously in order to get the balance of colour correct and use similar pastel colours in their coats to make them work together, even though they are very looking dogs. Having decided on the best photo of each of them I drew them lightly onto beige pastel paper, to ensure I had the features in the right place. Then I laid down a base of white in the lightest areas followed by a warm cream and smudged them together. Next I blocked in areas where I could see oranges and browns and carefully worked them together. Having laid a base I then established my darkest areas with a black and dark brown pastel. At this point I needed to focus on the eyes so I swapped my pastel block for a pastel pencil to create finer detail. Bryn's markings were a challenge as they needed to be mapped on in the right places without losing definition. I used a cream pastel pencil to blend the edges of the markings to keep them sharp and built up the tonal values with browns, ochres, oranges and greys. A touch of blue was also added in places, especially the nose, to complement the orange tones and make them zing! More warm oranges and peachy tones were added to Gigi's coat and after balancing the detail on both dogs I think they are complete and ready to be framed as a pair.
Merry Christmas (again)
4 months ago