So, I have had people asking me a lot of questions about the artistic process in pastel arts. I also decided to offer my talents to the dog agility community and do commissioned portraits. But, in order to make this dream come true, I had to see if I could actually do pastels with animals. I adore my cattle dog Banjo. These dogs have interesting coloration and stipplings, and several different color varieties, and they are darned cute as puppies.
First, I outlined a cattle dog puppy onto a white piece of 10″ x 7″ piece of paper. After the outline is done, the black color is blocked in first.
The particular cattle dog that I was studying had an undertone of orange/tan around the muzzle, and in its raccoon mask. So, light chalk markings are added around the muzzle.
The orange is then smeared and blended. The area around the eye is much lighter in color than the rest of the mask, so grey and much lighter colors are necessary.
The cattle dog is very white right now, so the white needs to be muted with grey. The orange is also too bright, and needs to be dulled with grey. The black on the nose also needs to be softened so the nose looks moist and adorable.
We now have a creepy cattle dog puppy that looks like it has no soul. The eyes are the most important feature of the puppy, and need to be done carefully. The pupils are brown, with black irises. The area around the eye (eyelids) also is much lighter than the mask around it, as they are hairless. The eye that isn’t showing is brownish black, with a grey shadow around the eye. The details on the nose were also sketched out a little better. The grey color was mixed into the orange in the muzzle.
Now, we need to finish off the baseline details of the puppy. The inside of the ears is a dark brown color, that phases up to pink at the ear tip. Orange tufts of hair was added to the outside of the pink. After this session, the baby blue was blocked into the background and smoothed.
I then applied a workable fixative (it allows me to blend and work more details without smearing what I have already done). Then I got out my harder pastels (like a pencil) for more details. A sharper eye, a more diluted muzzle, hair in the ears and around the muzzle.
And finally… I sketched whiskers onto the puppy, and added some more white to the body. The finished product is a 7″ x 10″