Pastels, Step-by-step drawing

Step-by-step drawing and a giveaway

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.

Outline of German Shepherd dog drawing

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.

Adding the first tones to the German Shepherd dog drawing

First tones

Then I added some light tones in pale blue and pale purple, and added the eyes.

More tones and light and shade

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

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

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.

Adding detail

Adding detail

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

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

Cat and dog notecards

Cake and Luck cards

Cake and Luck cards

Good luck, and hope to see you soon!


30 thoughts on “Step-by-step drawing and a giveaway

  1. What a fascinating post. I love watching an artist at work, and it doesn’t matter how many times I watch, I never get any better! Enjoy your day of visitors, and thank you for such a lovely giveaway, I just love your cat cards

  2. Gaynor says:

    Beautiful. It has been ages sice I got my pencils out…time to do so methinks. I love the step by step way you have done it. And I think it most def. contains the spirit of all things GSD!!

  3. Joy says:

    I am so jealous! Your work is amazing and you make the German Shepherd look effortless!!!
    I’d love to take part in your giveaway please.
    Joy xx

  4. Annie Potter says:

    Love all your pastels, the animals personalities shine through! The German Shepherd is just fantastic! Please keep blogging!

  5. Oh my, your art is truly amazing. I thought it was a photo I was looking at until I read through the whole blog post. You are really a talented artist. I love all the cats and dogs; they are such special friends. Have a wonderful week.

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