I wanted to do another in the series of my dog Brocci who makes a brilliant model!  This set up is very similar to another piece I did called ‘Keeping Watch’ which you can see here Keeping Watch

For this piece though I really wanted to try and use a more vibrant palette and try to capture how that room glows when the sun shines in.  This is where photo reference comes into good use I think.  I like to use photos in two ways.  Firstly I sometimes use small elements from photos like the flowers from one and a character from another.  In this case I set this scene up with the painting in mind.  In my dining room I moved around the plants and my very willing helper decided to have a sniff which she’s quite good at.

‘Heaven Scent’ Pastel on velour 12″x19″


Sketched out and onto the velour.  Going to block
in bits of the background first.  This is quite a small piece
so I find working in certain areas first helps to keep it
all clean.



In this piece I’m trying to layer up the Unison
pastels I use in small films of colour.  The velour
paper I work on is great for this effect as it sits on
top of the colour beneath and by only lightly
blending them together you still get a hint of both
colours.  For example I’ve used a deep purple shade
to tone the green wall at the very top of the painting.
The green applied lightly on top allows some of that
undertone to shine through.



Doing the same on the floor by using lots of
orange reds with shades of yellowy green for
a real warm glow.
This is the edge of my dining room table with a
‘purple shamrock’ or ‘love’ plant also called the
Oxalis Triangularis.  A beauty of a plant and it
featured in my other painting too.


In the corner is a giant orange Lily plant which has survived
many generations in our family.  This is merely an
offcut, the mother plant lives with, well my mother!
I loved the spiky shadow it cast on the wall but it was
very trying to get small pointed leaves with fat pastels.
I did use a green pastel pencil for a bit of help neatening
but most of it was applied with some sharp edges.


The vase of hydrangea and lupine which both
grow in mum’s garden.  This was mainly done with
very small pieces of pastel and small loose dots and dabs.


Brocci’s orange head makes a nice profile against
both the white and green walls.  If you want to know the
truth, I hid a biscuit in a hydrangea…there, my secret is out.
She got up to have a sniff while I was photographing and
I loved it but didn’t get the shot.  So to persuade a repeat
performance I planted some in’scent’ive!


Laying down the dark shades first.  There won’t be much
detail on the bottom half of her anyway as she’s in
shadow.  But I wanted the green line down her back
give her some reflective glow from the walls around her.



Close up of the finished painting.