This is the second in my Schnauzer triptych.  It’s Polo, Pepper’s friend and I have an equally lovely photo reference from their frolics in the snow.  Hope you enjoy my progress on him.

The finished portrait 16″ x 16″ soft pastel.

These pieces are quite large in size for small dog head portraits, but it’s allowing me to squeeze a lot of detail into each face.  As the photo reference is so great, it’s good to be able to do full justice to the detail available.
This was my photo reference.  As with Pepper’s picture I’ve tried to bring out his eyes more as well as lessen the colouring around his mouth a little as requested by my client.  His mouth hair is very wet so I’ll try to soften this area a little.  My client also wanted a different collar in the portraits which I have seperate photos of.

I start by sketching out Polo.  Here I have Pepper’s portrait next to it along with all the colours I used in Pepper’s picture.  I will use pretty much the same palette again on Polo.

Polo has a lot more light on the front of his face in his photo.  The top of his ears is really light lilacs and off whites.

I use the harder Faber Castell sticks in the very blackest areas.  I then add warm purply browns in there to warm it up.

This past week we have been parked up on a site in Bournemouth fixing a few things on the van and getting her ready for MOT.  It rained most of the week which has been helpful for my deadlines.  But on our last evening in the field the sunset managed to wow us!

The next day we go for our MOT and she sails through!  We’re back on the road now and heading back towards Dover for a ferry back to the mainland.  We hope to head further North this summer and visit parts of Scandanavia.  That’s the plan anyway!

This is a shot of the inside of our van. I work at the very back where you can see Brocci.  This has been our home for the past year now and it’s been a whirlwind of travelling and work combined. Thanks to all of you who have kept an eye on my blog for the next installments!

I use my trusty Unison Grey8 for the mid tones on the nose.  Grey27 provides a warm light highlight on the left.

A lot of my pastels are these small shards with sharp edges.  I often get asked how to get small detail from the big sticks and the answer is to break them if you need an edge.  I’m never scared to crack a pastel as I love the amount of useful edges you get when you do!  I occasionally drop one by accident and it usually works out for the best.

Starting to work on his chest area which will be behind that chin hair.

Some pastel pencil is useful for neatening up edges.  I also use quite a lot on the finest hairs around the dog.

As we make our way back along the South coast of England we stop off at Porchester Castle.  Here I take a good outdoor shot of the two completed portraits together with tiny Brocci in between.  Next on my easel is the big painting for the middle.  It’s a giant task as both dogs are posed in a bluebell covered forest.  That will be a job and a half!  Hope you’ll follow their progress on my facebook page at