This double portrait was worked from photos.  Although the photos were taken at the same time there was a little piecing together done to get the best pose of both the dog and the girl.  I tend to do this chopping of photos on Photoshop first as I can tweak the arrangement before committing to it.

The finished portrait 12″x16″ Pastel on velour
My background in and my line drawing to give me some guidance

 

Working my way across the dog I lay down
the dark colours first and build up the tones gradually.

 

 

I love this dog! Such intelligent faces they have!

 

Showing how I’ve started laying down the undertones.  I’m using
lots of purples and blues for the shadow areas but these are really
only to shine through the top layers.

 

Adding highlights and defining some of the features

 

Eyes are in but they’re not right yet!  I know at this stage I’m not
quite there with her likeness.  Youth is the trickiest to capture
as there are no lines or aging to hide behind.  It’s skin and features
at their purest.

 

I’ve worked on though, I’d like to get the rest of the features in
and begin tweaking all over.  Getting more of a sense of the light
in the picture from that highlight on her shoulder.

 

All the detail is now done on the jumper
and I can assess the painting as a whole.

 

This image shows where I had got the face to
at this point.  I knew that although this did
resemble her and there were no obvious big
mistakes, it was just not right.  That’s nearly
worse than having something obvious to fix!
It was a case of going back over all the features
and using my eye to measure distances as well
as blending the skin tones until they were really
smooth making the skin seem more youthful.

 

After a LOT of tweaking this was her finished.
I knew as soon as I narrowed the eyes slightly
that it was more like her gaze but I literally
made dozens of small adjustments on her to
make it more accurate.  Sometimes I don’t get the
likeness straight away, but what I love about pastels
and velour paper especially, is that you can tweak and
rework until you’re happy.
A close up of the face showing the lovely spongey texture
you get on the velour paper.  This is several layers mixed and
blended on the paper.