I love getting to meet the dogs in my portraits but it’s not always possible.  I was asked to paint Henry and although the best photo of him was good and clear, it was flash lit.  This can cause the flare in their eyes, and overall the lighting becomes very flat.  I used this photo to work from for the pose and have used my own orange toned dog as reference to try and hint at a bit of side lighting.
I hope I’ve managed to capture Henry and make something special for his owners to remember him by.

Henry, Pastel on velour 12″x14″


The photo I worked from. As you can see the pose is
great, it was just about adding a bit more dimension
and tone to it as well as sorting out those eyes.


My line sketch on the velour.  I’m using the yellow


My studio room set up with a desk easel.


I’m going to introduce some blue into the picture
for the shadow side.  This will contrast nicely with
all that orange.  I’m also trying to simplify
the couch a little and lighten it so that Henry
stands out a little and is what our
attention is drawn to.



Trying to pick out his features as they would be lit
from the side.  It’s hard as I’m trying to imagine what
parts of his little eyebrows would catch the light.
You can see how I’m layering in the fur here
making the marks with the flow of the skin underneath.


Using a really vibrant set of oranges and yellows.
Unison are so good for vibrant oranges!  The strength
of colour you get from one mark is amazing!


Some of the Unsion sticks I’m using in front of
the easel.


Almost there.  After the legs I’ll need to go back
and tweak all over.  I also want to add some blue to
the back wall at the bottom right to contrast against
the bright side of the dog.