This week’s pastel is a real treat to work on.  Such a sweet face to capture and a really cute friendship between her and her bunny.  I hope you enjoy her progression and a little of my travels in Germany.

The finished portrait 16″x12″ soft pastel.

Here you can see the photo reference supplied by my client.  The challenge is to create a scene from this using none of the backdrop.  I suggested green grass as a colourful backdrop to my client but I need to ensure the greens do not clash with the lilacs.  I’ve opted for lovely minty greens which will look nice and fresh with her dress.

Here you can see my first stage on blocking in the background.  I use a little purple in the place I want her shadow to be.  There is only a slight amount of directional lighting in the photo reference but it’s enough to give her some weight against the grass.  I used lighter green tones to add some texture to the grass but I don’t want it to be too detailed.  The main focus will be her’s and bunny’s faces.

The first layer of colour down on her face.  At this stage I try to see larger areas and block in chunks of colour.

Once I start to add some highlights I can see her features start to emerge.

Her features are in and the beginnings of bunny can be seen here. However, I’m aware that I have more work to do on her face at this stage.  There are some proportions slightly off, but I work on and will come back to those.

    This past couple of weeks we have been visiting some friends who we met for the first time last year on our tour through Germany. We had three weeks of exploring the Rhine and Ruhr rivers and some beautiful days spent in another culture.  It’s always so interesting making friends from different countries as we get a little taste of the culture from here when we spend time with them.

Brutus our dog host is a Chihuahua with a big character.  Here he is looking longingly at the boat as his favourite human is onboard.

Exploring the Ruhr river and hanging out under the big bridge.  We are definitely turning into trolls with the amount of bridges we live under these day!  (If you’ve read the children’s story ‘The Billygoat’s Gruff’ this might make sense!)

Brocci trying out the inflatable watermelon to explore the smaller areas of the river.

Back to work on this sweet girl and I love seeing this bunny come to life.

I start to block in her hair and she has such beautiful waves.

After some tweaking with pastel pencils I create those fine flyaway hairs around the edges of her head.  I’m trying to keep these edges really soft.

Finally some of this lovely lilac is going on.  I use this colour a lot in skintones and shadows so it’s already in the painting.

Adding some highlights to show the folds of the dress.

Her feet were so tricky to work on.  Because the piece is only 16″ tall, her feet were about the size of 10p coins.  I’ve tried to include a hint of all those vibrant colours on there without worrying too much about every colourful bead being in the right place.

Today as I’ve finished up this portrait there is a serious thunder sky looming!  I get out for one last walk with Brocci in this beautiful German countryside before the rain comes on.

A little close up of their two faces squished together.  Hope you’ve enjoyed her progression!

Check out for more info on commissioning your own pastel painting.