Pet Portrait Painting Process – Step 3 of Skjonn

After the first layer of pastel is applied, I like to make sure that the pigment is stained into the paper. To do that, I use an old watercolor brush with everyday rubbing alcohol to dissolve the pigment. It is important to paint each area separately, other wise the colors can run together and I would have a muddy mess on my hands.

Rubbing alcohol dissolves pastel pigment

After the alcohol dries, which does not take long, I am ready to apply my many layers of pastel.

This pet portrait of Skjonn does look  a little like a puzzle, no?

…to be continued.


Pet Portrait Painting Process – Step 2 of Skjonn

From the two reference photos I have of Skjonn, I had to determine, or rather decide, from which direction the sun was shining on her.  The angles in the photos are not the same, but very close, which impacts the location of the highlights on this wonderful black Labrador. I chose the reference photo where the sun is not directly coming from above her because that direct light gives off too many highlights and does not allow for a good definition of her head and her personality.

After I transferred Skjonn’s sketch onto pastel paper and¬†taped the paper to a board, I began blocking in larger areas of the painting with color.¬† As I have done in previous pet portraits, I used warmer colors for the areas where the light is hitting Skjonn; this applies to the the background sections as well.¬† Cooler colors (magenta, purple and blue) were applied for the shadow areas.¬† It was important to remember that this scene takes place during the summer and that she reflects that season in her personality!

First layer of pastel applied

To see a larger view of this stage of the painting, just click it.

You are allowed to laugh at her nose, because it does look similar to a pig’s snout, but have no fear,¬†this will be corrected! ūüôā

Any questions before I continue to the next phase?

…to be continued.