Mel Newing – Dog Portrait

My name is Mel Newing and I am completing the Pet Portrait Diploma Course with Gayle Mason. I’ve completed the 1st piece for exercise 4 which asks for a dog with basic background. This is actually an attempt at a commissioned piece I did early last year that I have been itching to re-do! I thought it would be great to see if I could improve on things from last year with things I ahve learnt form the course. The original photo is of very poor quality but having had a little more experience now drawing dogs I felt far more comfortable doing this. I am taking reference from other clearer photos for detail such as fur direction and basic nose shape, whilst still being able to keep as true as possible to the original photo.

This is drawn using pastels on pastel mat paper, size approx A4, and I feel very happy with this piece. For the under tones I used quite a lot of blues and purples to get the dark tone of the fur without over-doing it with the black. I was aware of ending up with a black blob if I was too heavy handed, so used black for only the darkest areas by the ears/eyes and the finer fur detail.

It was interesting doing the background. I needed to add more pastel than I expected to be able to get a smooth shading/blend. I chose to use a darker colour on the left to accentuate the light tones in the fur, and a lighter background on the right to try and make those darker areas appear darker. I’m hoping go got there with it?!

Mel Newing
Pet Portraits Course

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