Self Portrait in coloured pencil

Friday, 5 August 2016

King Charles Spaniel


King Charles Spaniel 

It is many years since I last did a portrait in pastel. But pastels have always been my favourite medium.  
I had to stop working in pastels because I had trouble with my hand and I kept dropping them. Dropping pastels is very bad for them and you end up with a colourful floor and pastel crumbs too small to hold. 
In those days pastel pencils were not good quality, in the sense that the pigment had hard bits that scratched the painting. Now there are a number of art material companies that are producing wonderfully smooth consistent pastel pencils. 
It is still easier for me to hold a pencil than a piece of pastel but I did work with both in the portrait. I used the pieces of stick for background colour and rubbed it into the paper then I worked over it with the pencils. 
I use kneadable erasers to blend the colours. I tried stumps once but I quickly discarded them. Once the tip is dirty they are useless to me. But with the eraser I can keep working a new point. 
I wish that I had had longer to work on the portrait. I lost some time because I had a couple of falls, and I took part in a craft fair, but also I had to learn new techniques which takes time. So it isn't as finished as I would have liked. The dog's paws were fluffy and complicated so I left them sketchy. I am not good at sketchy. 
I had a fairly strict deadline with this portrait which I went over by two days. It took 24 hours in total. 
Despite my problems, I am happy that I captured the character of the dog. (I would tell you her name if I knew how to spell it.)


  1. Thank you. She is a very sweet pretty little girl.
    I think she is looking extra soulful because she is wondering why she has to sit on the sofa instead of playing with her toys.


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