I was asked to produce a portrait of a very special girl called Mo. My client sent me a range of photos of her including some shots from their garden which seemed the perfect place to stage the portrait. Hope you enjoy a little of my progression and some big news from this week. Our pack just got bigger!
Mo’s finished portrait, soft pastel 18″ x 14″

The reference photos I worked from to create Mo’s portrait. I played around with it on Photoshop to find a pleasing composition.

As always I start with the background and the sky has such a lovely gradient to it.

I block in all the dark hedges followed by a mid tone green. There realyl isn’t a lot of detail in the background, I want it to remain out of focus behind Mo.

My big news this week is the arrival of Lola to our clan. I was in the local vets photographing a poor cat who they were trying to rehome. It was a sad story and the cat died from it’s injuries. But that same day I heard another sad story about a little Bodeguero who had been found the week before covered in deep cuts. She was being looked after at a local stable but had nowhere to go. I saw a picture of her and knew we had to have her.

In this picture you can see some of her cuts which are stitched and well healed by now. But she is covered in them. She has been with us three days now and already she is a different dog. Not the nervous girl who came to our door on day one.

Bodegueros were originally bred in Spain to hunt the rats in wine cellars. They originate from the English fox terrier but have very much their own traits. Each one I’ve met has been the most adorable soft natured creature. I’ve never met a friendlier breed.

She is only 1 year old so our two oldies have a bit of adjusting to do. But apart from the odd scuffle when Lola takes off on an energetic lap, things are going very smoothly!

So with a third dog in the studio while I work, I make a start on lovely Mo.

I loved the lighting in Mo’s photo. The shadows make it really interesting. As always it’s tricky painting white in the shadow areas and resisting the urge to use any white pastel!

A big pink tongue emerging. Layering in the darker purples and pinks before the highlights.

Using lot of lilacs and light earthy yellows throughout the shadows on her front.

Peachy tones give the warmth of her skin underneath on her chest and that fleshy area on her muzzle.

Building up many layers of greys, lilacs and peaches. Saving the white for the sunlit side next the grass. If you know the rules and stick by them, you can create a 3D effect by this simple method.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed Mo’s progression.

If you’re interested in having a portrait painted have a look on my pricing page at http://www.emmacolbertart.com/art-portraits-pricing/

For pastel tips and tutorials visit my Youtube or my new Patreon channel at http://www.patreon.com/emmacolbertart