I decided it was time to show another painting process.  I plan on having some animal and children’s portraits in my booth at the Pan American Fiesta Arts & Crafts Show and will be soliciting commissioned portraits.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  You can never tell when you enter an outdoor show like this whether there are any buyers coming through or just lookers.  I don’t mind lookers…..I do it too!

Above is the original photograph that I worked from. It was rather small, about 2″ high.

First, I  lightly draw the subject (today I used a regular lead pencil, but usually I use a pastel pencil), then put in the basic color or colors.  I like to get the eyes completed or close to complete at the beginning.  If they aren’t right, it’s nearly impossible to catch a likeness.

Here you can see some of the layers of colors I used.  It is easier to control pastel dust and smears by working from the top down at each stage.  I see that the left ear is a little short, but that’s easily fixed.  I think the eyes show the tilt of the head well.   Now on to the finish.

All done and ready for framing.  I’ve chosen a plain golden wood frame that picks up the colors in the dog’s coat.  I’ve surrounded the drawing with white pastel both to pop the figure out of the background as well as cover any errant smears or marks around the figure and pull the top of the head down slightly.  I usually like to use color for backgrounds, but I’m happy with white for this fellow.  Unfortunately, this may not show as well in the photo, but you see the white strokes when your standing near the painting.

By the way, this is not one of my Shih Tzus, but it could be.  He looks very much like my female, Bishi.  Looks like I’ll be painting them soon…….they are very sensitive dogs, you know!

3 Responses to “Shih Tzu in Pastel”

  1. thom says:

    I can see the white highlights! This is a really sharp canine portrait! Very hard to capture animals I think. WELL DONE!

  2. admin says:

    Thanks, Thom. I think animals are at least as difficult as people if you are doing a portrait. It doesn’t take much to ruin that sense of recognition, especially if someone has commission the painting. They have to be able to look at the painting and see THEIR dog, not just a dog.

  3. Karen & MacGregor says:

    Great job! You are right that it is easier to do a dog you don’t know. If you know the dog you have to get the “feeling” exactly right. The tiniest thing can mean the difference between “my” dog and a generic of the same breed.

    I have a drawing of a Beardie that I swear used MacGregor as the model. The look in the eyes is exactly right!

    I just bet the owner of thiis Shih Tzue would recognize their dog!

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