I've been collecting pastel pencils for about a year now - an artist can never have enough art supplies, right? If ever there was a magical art tool, it must be the combination of Pastelmat paper and pastel pencils. I love detail and the level of detail I can get from these two tools is a delight. This is the perfect medium and surface for highly detailed animal art. I've been doing pet portraits and wildlife portraits. I am in love!
Here are a few of my recent works, as well as a couple of oldies. I have a Carolina Wren ready to start on the drawing board and a dog portrait commission.
Next blog post, I'll do a quick tutorial on the steps I used in painting Hobbes' portrait. I loved this pose (a photo my daughter, Tara, took.) We have two cats so once I get a really good photo of Bunsen, I'll do his portrait.
Tiger in Waiting, Portrait of Hobbes, 8x10
Who doesn't love baby ducks! I photographed this one and her siblings while vacationing at Partridge Cabins in Pittsburg, NH. Mom and ducklings spent some time hanging around the dock so I had lots of great opportunities to get photos. I love the reflections in this photo so I just had to paint it. Those feathers were a challenge, but once I figured out the pattern (there's always a pattern in nature), I got it done.
This is Fiona, a gorgeous, young Red Fox. She was rescued and lives at Millstone Wildlife Center in Windham. They were kind enough to allow me to use Fiona's photo to create this portrait. I see the occasional fox pass quickly through my yard or show up on my trail cam, but so far I haven't been able to get good photos for this kind of up close and personal portrait. Now I'm thinking about trying for a raccoon portrait - I love their paws and want to include them in any painting I do!
Millstone Wildlife Center does an amazing jog rehabilitating wildlife and educating people about wildlife.
Portrait of Fiona, 8x10
I end up taking tons of seagull photos when we go on vacation to Maine. I was able to take a bunch of this guy, or girl, when we were in Rockport. Doing a detailed portrait like this really makes you look at the details of your subject. I love the pale eye, the red mark on the beak and the greys and blues of the feathers. I enjoyed this one. I think Seagulls get a bad rap!
The Opportunist, Herring Gull, 8x10
This portrait of Sketch, my ever present shadow, was my first portrait using Pastelmat and pastel pencils. I fell in love with being able to add whiskers and whispy light hairs right on top of my dark colors, something that isn't possible with colored pencil. Building up layers is fun, and not nearly as time consuming as working in colored pencil. I might have hundreds of colored pencils for sale. lol Maybe not, you never know when you're going to need a colored pencil. I still love working in colored pencils. Certain subjects call for certain mediums, I think.
Sketch, (detail) 8x10
This beautiful Great Blue Heron was my first bird in pastel. I was lucky enough to get some wonderful photos of this young heron we came across while walking at Pickering Ponds in New Hampshire. He was standing on a rock right next to the path so we had to walk right by him to continue our hike. He was wary, but didn't fly away. He just moved to the edge of the water. Later when we returned on the path, he was back on his rock, and I was able to get even more photos. I'm sure he'll show up in more paintings.
Those feathers were a major challenge, but were an amazing education on painting feathers.
Juvenile Blues, Great Blue Heron, (detail) Sold