Ivy is beautiful little Pug whom I had the good fortune to be commissioned to draw. Here you can see the six stages of my portrait of Ivy in pastel.
After discussion with the client, I chose pastel for Ivy’s portrait. Pastel suits animal art very well as it takes on a creaminess on the page which replicates the softness of the fur, whilst also allowing for a lot of precision. Detail is essential to my work’s realism, and to capturing aa true likeness of the subject.
Bringing Ivy to life on the page
In these work in progress images, you can see in the earliest stages how patchy the pastel is on the page. This is because the paper has a texture. The high points hold the pigment first as the pastel is moved across the page. I initially block in the main shapes, determining the composition, and shade with both blocks of pastel and pastel pencils.
As an artwork develops I will refine both the colours and shapes in the drawing, and my techniques for applying the pastel. By working from the broadest strokes to the smallest marks, I can build from stroing foundations to the finishing touches most efficiently. Inevitably in any artwork I make numerous changes as I go along, as the longer you look the more you see. Observation is a skill I have honed over many years. Hours of study is the very best way to truly see, and in turn replicate and represent on the drawing board.