My blog today is about my new pet portrait of these two adorable pomeranians.  I went to their home to photograph them and as I usually do with double portraits I’ve pieced together the composition from different photos.  The chances of getting two dogs to sit exactly how you want them together in the painting is quite unlikely.  What I like to do is get a range of possible poses from both dogs and then see which work most naturally together while also allowing the owners to choose the picture that best captures their personality.
This pair were full of personality!  It was an easy photoshoot as they were engaging and perky!

The finished portrait 14″x18″ Pastel on velour


My initial line drawing on the velour along with the two
photos we chose as the poses.


I am a big fan of using sofas as a backdrop as they often add
nice colour and textures.  In this case the sofa was the place the
dogs liked to lie up on so capturing them here made sense.
The velour feel of the sofa was great to replicate on my
velour paper which feels a little like the actual sofa did!


You can see in this shot how the highlights added to the back
of the sofa bring it to life.


Working from the top of Rocco’s head I’ve laid
down the darkest areas first.  In this case I’ve used
a Faber Castell pastel stick as their black is jet black.


I’ve used lots of blue for his highlights as well as
a fleshy tone for around his eyes.  Pastel pencils
come in useful for the smallest details around the
eyes and nose but I spend a lot of time looking for
sharp edges on my Unison pastels as one dot of
it gives you very solid colour in comparison to pencils.


You can see how I lay in the dark areas first
creating the channels in which the highlights
will lie.  His chest hair is really crimpy so I’ll use
shaky movements to create the small waves in
his hair.


With this portrait I would have liked to have the blonde dog
against the purple and vice versa with the dark dog.  But Bella
the blonde one naturally does lie up on this cushion and I think
it’s important to stay true to their own wee habits and personality
too so I decided to work with it.  My main aim has been to make
sure they both stand out well against their surrounding colours.
The background behind Bella is slightly darker to allow her
face to still jump out from the page.


Working downwards on Bella, I’ve made sure that the cream
cushion she is on has enough shadow on it to allow her
bright highlights to stand out.


Almost there!  Just those wee legs left on Bella.  I’ve decided to
add a foreground purple cushion just to balance it out and add
some interesting texture to the foreground.  It’s been a really fun
portrait to work on so I hope their owners like it!

Thanks for visiting my blog.  I’d love your feedback!  Please do subscribe or call back for more work in progress.