Hello everyone, welcome, how exciting to be part of the Summer Blog Tour. I hope you’ve been enjoying it so far and learnt lots of new things, I have !
I had a long think about what I should post for my new visitors, but decided to stick to what I know, and that’s the drawing. So make yourselves comfy and I’ll take you through the steps of my latest picture…oh and, if you read all the way down to the bottom I may have a little giveaway for you as well…
German Shepherd step-by-step
I’m trying to build up a range of different types of animals to use as cards, and maybe to make into a calendar for Christmas pressies, though will have to get a wriggle on as I would only reach June if I used what I have at the mo – six-month calendar anyone?
Anyway, I’ve had a few requests now for German Shepherd dogs, including a drunken conversation in a pub with a lady who told me she had never seen anyone capture the spirit of a German Shepherd in a drawing. Not that I’m saying I’ve succeeded, but I do like a challenge.
This is how I drew my picture.
I started on a mid-toned grained Canson paper. I haven’t tried pastel mat or any of the more velvety surfaces you can work on, though must have a go. I tend to stick to what I know, and I like a bit of texture, as I still like it to keep a sense of what materials I’m using.
I like to draw the outline with a pastel pencil, dark areas in a dark pencil, light areas in a light pencil.
Drawing the outline
I put my tones down first, thinking about what colours underpin the main tonal areas. I usually go for contrasting colours which I can build up to achieve the dark or light tones choosing green and red, yellow and purple or orange and blue. This time, I went for blue and orange.
Then I added some light tones in pale blue and pale purple, and added the eyes.
More tones and light and shade
Time to start adding the background, and a bit more detail, again I do like to put down the brightest colours I can see in the underlayer of fur, still lots of reds and greens!
Adding the background
I also started to emphasise details in black (sparingly) and white – as you can see from the photo I am working in very poor light at this point – not recommended! When I work late I often wake up to find my images looking far more psychedelic than I previously imagined, though black and white is fairly safe!
Adding black and white
I started to focus in on the detail on the face and on the fur on the dog’s neck. This takes a lot of layering.
I continued with more layering of colour on the neck fur, emphasising the buckle on the collar and a spot of redrawing on the jawline. (Note the baby wipes in the background – essential kit – I am frequently streaked with randomly placed pastel smudges…)
The last job is always a bit of smoothing with my trusty rubber colour shaper and neatening up of the edges and there you have it…one German Shepherd dog in pastel.
German Shepherd dog
I have to say, this picture is the biggest I have drawn since I started Pastelesta, perhaps it’s something to do with the imposing nature of the breed…
It’s a good sign though, as I enjoy drawing bigger, you can be more free and loose with your strokes. I always drew very big pictures when I was a student!
Hopefully there’ll be cards in the shop soon, and I’ve already got my next request to help fill up the calendar months, a miniature Schnauzer, and a couple of willing models to pick from!
A giveaway from me
Thanks for visiting , as a little thank you, if you leave a comment (below the title of this post if you’re on your phone or to the left of this post if you’re on your PC) I will pick one of you at random on Tuesday 20th August to win a packet of cats and dogs cards from my drawings and a couple of my ‘retro tattoo cards’:
Cat and dog notecards
Cake and Luck cards
Good luck, and hope to see you soon!