Self Portrait in coloured pencil

Friday, 12 October 2018

Boots the Deerhound 4



Boots the Deerhound 4

I have finished Boots’ ear and eye. 
If you disagree it is because I still need to sort out his fur. His ear will look better when I have finished painting the fur on his neck, and as for his eye, I couldn’t see it in the reference photo because of the way a deerhound’s fur grows. I used Bryn as an eye model. One of her parents was a wolfhound so I thought her eyes should be roughly in the right place. She isn’t a great model. It worries her when I want her to turn her head sideways so I can see her eye in profile but I got there. Now I need to add Boots’ curly eyebrow. 
You can see the curls on his head against the dark hedge. I painted them in pastel pencils in shades of grey. I am enjoying working in pastel so much. I still struggle to hold pastel sticks so I have been experimenting with different brands of pastel pencils. 
I bought a box of Derwent pastel pencils 2 years ago but I found them a bit hard and they shatter inside when I drop them.
I hunted out pastel pencils that I bought many years ago like Bruynzeel, and bought some new ones in green and grey. They are quite nice. And I bought some new Faber Castell pastel pencils and I liked those ones so much that I bought a tin of the complete range. 
Looking on line for the pastels I discovered that Caran d’Ache make pastel pencils too. So I bought 3 to try. And I loved them. They are go on so softly and the colour is dense enough to cover the underneath painting. So I bought a box of the full range of 84. I thought about it for a few days because the box was a lot of money! But now I have them I know that they’re worth every penny. 
The Caran d’Ache pencil box is safe in the drawer of my new painting table. The tin of Faber Castell ones is on the top in danger of being sat on. See below. 
I must say a word about sharpening the pencils. I bought a selection of pencil sharpeners. Success with them depends on the quality of the wood casing of the pencil. It varies from pencil to pencil so it is safest to use a craft knife. 
Caran d’Ache make a pastel pencil sharpener that looks like a miniature potato peeler. I will buy one some day. I am curious about how it would 












Monday, 1 October 2018

Boots the Deerhound 3



 Boots the Deerhound 3

I had a number of visitors last week so the portrait of Boots is not as far along as I would like. At the same time using my pastel pencils is so much fun that when I did manage to sit at my easel I was working with enthusiasm and able to work for longer than I could with the oil paints. 
Remember from my last post that I primed the oil painting with Art Spectrum primer in clear so the painting showed through. I didn’t have to start from scratch. 
I have continued working on his back and side and I am feeling pleased that I am getting a nice soft fur texture that shows the rough coat of a deerhound. Boots isn’t wire haired. I think that would be harder to paint. 
Today I sprayed the work I had done with fixative. I was getting pastel on my hand when I rested it on the surface so I thought I had better do something about it before it got smudged. 
Tomorrow I am going to start on his head. 
I bought some Inktense coloured pencils to embellish the pencil drawings that I am working on to show at the Craft Fair on the 19th and 20th of October. So I added a couple of Faber Castell pastel pencils. I hadn’t tried them before. I was so impressed that I have ordered the whole range of 60 colours. They may arrive tomorrow. 
I am also working on Bentley, and on my pencil drawing of a wolf that I met and fell in love with, when he was 6 months old. I will tell that story after I finish the drawing.