Just a quick post to show you my latest horse portrait
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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’:
Good luck, and hope to see you soon!
Have you been enjoying the sunshine? I have, and still managed to get a bit of work in!
Here’s the golden retriever portrait I have been working on today:
Bit of a mixed couple of weeks really, as I’ve been a bit too busy socialising and enjoying the glorious weather to get a lot of drawing done. That’s the hard thing about trying to build up your work in your spare time.
Also, the craft fair I was getting excited about for next weekend has been cancelled. I’m wondering if it’s just a very difficult time to try to sell things, will have to see what Christmas brings.
On the plus side, I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in ‘craftfest’ last week with http://www.creative-connections.ning.com, an online craft fair run by crafters. We all spent a lot of time and effort promoting each other’s stalls alongside our own which was very satisfying and made me realise how art works as a collective.
I’m going to keep on drawing, but I think I’ll try to use a bit of time for experimenting with some other media and subjects. Watch this space!
It’s not very seasonal, but the latest drawing I’ve finished is a husky in the snow. The sun came out as soon as I started it, so maybe I’d better keep to the wintry theme….potential Christmas card prints at the least!
Anyway, this latest drawing is tricky as the subject is mostly black and white. I like to be quite bold with my colours when starting the drawing at least as using contrasting colours allows the light to bounce off the pastel dust and give a more 3d effect. I also don’t really like using black. So, a challenge!
I started with an outline in pastel pencil which is easier to control than the sticks and gives a more controlled line
I usually leave the background too late and struggle to get the tones right so have started to add it earlier.
Next I put down some tone by shading purple and orange over each over, as well as green and red. It sounds odd, but the contrasting colours will give a grey-brown key that is a layer to work on.
I added some bright turquoise blue to the face to act as a key for the paler white fur.
Then I began to build up the detail
The process involved lots of redrawing and layering.
This is the finished picture
I couldn’t avoid black, but it’s layered over blue, purple and orange which is allowed to show through in places.
I’m not sure it’s finished, that’s just so hard to call, but I hate to overwork my animal portraits.
I’m not interested in every piece of fur, more the look in the eyes and a sense of character.
Pastels give a good sense of fur quite quickly and easily, but I am also quite impatient and probably don’t spend as long on pieces as I should!