HarveyOnlineThe finished portrait of Harvey in soft pastel.  The piece is 20″ x 16″

I was asked to paint this beautiful boy as a surprise birthday gift to someone who follows my art page on Facebook and who loves this gorgeous boy very much!  I hope they enjoyed the surprise which I hear has now been gifted, so I’m sharing his progress along with a few snaps from my travels during my time working on this.

Harvey-ReferenceThe photo reference I worked from.  You can see I have cropped and blurred areas in the painting to make the dog more of the central focus.  But I couldn’t bear to exclude any of that beautiful foreground.  As much effort as it took (I’m not a fan of painting leaves!) I think it was worth it for the effect of the final painting.

Harvey-Progress1My line drawing on the yellow velour and I’m ready to start painting.  I haven’t bothered drawing in too much of the leaves etc as I’ll get to that when I’m down that far.  First things first though, to decide how to simplify the background.

Harvey-Progress2I begin to block in some of the colour and the loose marks which will hint at the flowers receeding into the distance.

Harvey-Progress3I love the vibrant colours surrounding Harvey, they will really make his bright cream colouring stand out.

Harvey-Progress4The lighting in the shot I’m working from is great as it gives real depth and form to Harvey.  It catches him on top of his head and nose and this will really give the impression 3D form.  You can see I’m saving the lightest colours for those sunlit areas and the rest of his fur has many colours running through it.

Harvey-Progress5This lovely lilac colour is a perfect contrast for the shadow areas.  You can see how the big Unison sticks get worn down and I can find many sharp edges for small lines and hairs.

Pic1At this point we have crossed from the Netherlands over into Germany and this day out was our first German picnic.  This was taken in Rees where there was a great sculpture exhibition on at the time we visited.  The artist was Christine Morren and I loved how the figures were dotted around the town.  They brought such life to the place!

Pic2Pic3Harvey-Progress6Back to work and using some of my pastel pencils to get the very smallest detail in his eyes.

Harvey-Progress8I’m making a couple of new tutorial videos for my Youtube channel from this painting.  The nose, mouth and tongue have all been filmed.  I’m just editing these videos now so you’ll be able to watch me paint these areas in great detail.  Check out my other videos on my channel at www.Youtube.com/EmmaColbertArt


Harvey-Progress10Using a paper tortillon to strengthen and sharpen some of my edges.  I want that tongue to really stand out in front of his chest fur.

Harvey-Progress11Starting to work on down his chest and what a mane he has!

Harvey-Progress12Adding the lighter tones over my dark layer, starting to feel the depth in his fur.

Pic4We’ve had a spell of hot weather around this time.  Here is my Brocci sitting right in front of the fan.  I thought it was a perfect photo moment 🙂

Pic5One of the loveliest places we’ve visited was Mülheim an der Ruhr.  We were lucky enough to meet a couple of German boat owners who treated us to the sights and some trips out on their boat.

Pic6Brocci enjoying the breeze after a dip in the river.

Pic7The perfect end to a hot day with a beautiful sunset on the pier.  These boat owners have it sussed!

Harvey-Progress13aSharing my workspace with you.  This is the u-shaped lounge in the back of our camper.  I have all the space I need to work and spread my pastels out around me.  I have to be a bit more organised but this suits pastel really well.  As always my watch dog is close by to bark at people out the window!

Harvey-Progress14Working on down the background and making a start on that tricky foreground now.  I just have to take my time with the leaves as they are something I find really difficult.  I think I spent as long on the foreground as the dog itself!

Harvey-Progress15Picking out the individual flower stems and working around those to fill in the gaps.  It’s slow going!

Pic8Brocci enjoying a great view over a park at Duisburg where they have converted an old steel and coal works into a park.  It was fun exploring the old machinery and seeing how nature reclaims the land.

Pic9Parked up in Maastricht Marina with a lovely view to work by.  I’m very lucky to have such a cool portable studio with an ever changing view to gaze out at!

Pic10A little view of Maastrict town.  Such a pretty city!

Harvey-Progress16It feels good to get a corner finished!  I can start to see the end now.

Harvey-Progress19This was me packaging up two pieces to post back to my wonderful framed in Northern Ireland.  No matter where I am or where you are based it’s no problem to post.  I tend to send them two at a time back to Art & Home where my expert framer handles them with care and frames them ready for collection for my Northern Irish clients.

Harvey-arrivingJohn my framer also sends me a snap of it when it arrives with him so I can see that nothing is out of place.  This piece travelled perfectly!

Harvey FramedI also get to see them framed up and waiting for my clients to come in and collect.  What a beautiful job the framing makes of any piece.  I especially love the light toned frames for really colourful paintings.  It lets the colours just jump out at you!

I hope you have enjoyed my progress and travels.  Please do subscribe to my Youtube channel if you’d like to see more of my tutorials.  Two new videos coming soon!

For more info on commissioning your own portrait, please check out my pricing page here on my website or get in touch with me at info@emmacolbertart.com.