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

Monday, 29 September 2014

Feline Friends

Two feline friends are the subject of my latest commission. The portrait is an A4 pastel on cream Daler Rowney Ingres Pastel Paper, the shade of which was tricky to choose as I wanted both cats to stand out equally. I considered a mid beige so the ginger cat would be lighter and the blacker cat darker but decided their eyes might disappear and it might not work, so light cream was selected. I opted for two photos where the cats could be drawn as if they might be side by side and sketched their basic shapes before mapping out the ginger markings on both cats. This initial application of pastel sits on the paper surface and looks very grainy so I smoothed it using a cream pastel pencil, which you can see in the second of the series. This process is repeated using a range of colours from bright reds, oranges and yellows on the ginger cat, to brown, grey, black and even green on the coat as well as the eyes. Once I was happy with the balance of tones I flicked in some white whiskers and moved onto blocking in the really dark areas on the other cat. I used cream, dark brown and grey pastel underneath the shiny areas of the coat and flicked in all sorts of colours and shades to keep the markings vibrant. I hope I've captured them!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Macon and Rully - Great Pyrenees

These two lovable dogs are now finished. As this is for a special birthday present I have been working on this solely to get it completed for the celebration party and the frame has been made at the same time. From the last blog entry many layers and glazes of paint have been applied, starting with the greens of the woods and foliage in the background. When the level of detail was becoming too much I moved my attention to Macon (on the right) and spent time getting the tonal layers in his fur more accurate using warm umbers mixed with varying levels of ultramarine blue and then when dry, layering titanium white over the top to create depths of fluffiness. This 'push and pull' of dark to light and back again is eventually what gives the portrait depth but it goes through some scarily dark changes to get there, which I've not shown. Next, ultramarine and crimson were mixed in varying levels with white to create the bluebells which I randomly painted in with large brushstrokes and added more detail to the trees. At this point I decided the greens were too bright so painted a dark glaze across the whole of the picture to knock the intensity back and lifted out the dogs before it dried. Unfortunately I dropped my camera last week when I leapt out of my car so the second last picture was taken with a tablet and is a bit grainy. Never-the-less, you should still be able to see how both dogs are looking more 3-D and the bluebells are more detailed. Finally, details were sharpened and their fur softened and brightened. As this is in oils the portrait has a lovely rich lustre and I can't wait to see it in its decorative frame.