I started with a simple, very faint sketch in blue pastel. Once I was happy with the layout, I then added a layer of ivory colour for the background with Faber Castell pastel pencil to create a smoother surface for blending.


I then marked out the most obvious areas of Amber’s face again with pastel pencil, blending to create the shape of her muzzle, cheekbones and other areas of her face.


Once I had established the structure of her face, I then began to add detail with a mixture of Faber Castell pastel pencil and Unison soft pastels.


Untitled design
‘Amber’ 10″ x 8″ by Gillian Ussher

The reference photo was Amber’s portrait was from (with kind permission) Jenny Kemp Photography

This portrait is available to buy as giclee print on my online store. Use discount code OPM141 for a 10% discount.


To commission a portrait of your own pet, you can contact me at or visit my website.

Published by gillianussherart

I am a pet and wildlife artist, originally from Ireland but now based in Frome, England with my husband and children, two rescue dogs Rua the Hungarian Vizsla and Ogie the blind terrier, and Jet the cat. I take commissions for pet portraits and draw original animal art, most of which is sold as fine art prints and art cards. I also teach others how to draw through online classes and short courses available through my website. I have been working as a full time artist for many years, and have fulfilled hundreds of pet portrait commissions. My client base is international, and I ship worldwide for free. My work has been featured in publications such as Dogs Today Magazine, Dogs Monthly, The Guardian, Talented Ladies Club and Country Living Magazine. I support animal charities whenever I can, by regularly donating art to various rescue group fundraisers, donating 20% of income from prints to various breed specific rescues and providing wildlife rescues and rehabilitations centres with original art to fundraise and create merchandise. If you are interested in purchasing or commissioning art, or if you just want to connect, you can contact

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