This is the first of my Christmas commission posts and it seems strange to go back and look through Louis’ progress pictures and the snaps of where I was travelling when I painted him. It takes us back a little in my journey to the Italian Riviera which was a place I loved visiting.
Louis is the beloved pooch of my client’s boyfriend, and this was to be a big surprise for Christmas. I hope the gift has been well received and that you enjoy seeing his progress.
Background in using thin layers of olive greens, black and a light yellowy white from Unison called Grey27. It takes many layers before pastel will move around on velour but once it can be blended it does so in a lovely soft manner, just what pastel is great for! I tend to always start at the top right of something like this so here I am making a go for it on his ear.
I have worked his ears here with the dark black and then the light tones inside. I actually had some other photo reference of Louis to help with some details like this. You can see my early layers starting on his face and that just requires me using a black Faber Castell stick which is a little harder than the Unison, and I block in the darkest areas. I also start to create the flow of his fine fur up and around his forehead.
When we left Florence back in October, we headed for the Italian Riviera, planning to make it around France and into Spain before Winter sets in. This was the first place we stayed on the Riviera at San Rocco. We ended up parking here for a few days as we managed to get a great spot with this view! I thought, well if I have to work lots this month I might as well have great studio views!
We found the Italian side of the Riviera so beautiful. All the buildings sit so perfectly into the mountainous landscape. After a few days of grey skies, a lovely sunny day with a perfect sunset is a great way to leave this place.
Both eyes in and I can start to work the rest of his face. Once I have it all in I will go back over, neatening and refining any hairs I can make finer. Like most smooth coated animals it takes a long time to create that effect whilst not losing the definition.
Starting the detail on the nose area. I’ve just lighting rubbed some black over the whole area. I use some pastel pencils for the very smallest details on his nose and also to move pigment around on the paper.
Please call back soon for more of my progress posts, more Christmas work to follow soon…