Grey Wolf Pastel Tutorial

Grey Wolf Pastel Tutorial

Learn to draw a Grey Wolf with pastel with this four part video course.

Part 1 – Layout Drawing

Learn to sketch freehand without the need for any grids or drawing aids.

Part 2 – Features

Learn to use patience and care to add realistic and characterful features.

Part 3 – Layering

Discover how to bring light and depth with pastel by layering and blending.

Part 4 – Detail and Texture

Learn to use layering and colour to capture the texture of the coat and add final details with a few simple techniques.

This course is also available on my Patreon page

See a preview on my YouTube channel


Freckles’ portrait was drawn with Faber Castell Pitt pastel pencil and Unison soft pastel on Dalek Rowney Ingres paper. It measures 12″ x10″ / 30 x 25cm.

Continue reading “Freckles”

11 Portraits of German Shorthaired Pointers by Gillian Ussher Art

Pastel, 8″ x 6″/ 20 x 15cm
Pastel 16″ x 12″/ 40 x 30cm
Pastel, 12″ x 10″ / 30 x 25cm
Pastel 10″ x 8″ / 25 x 20cm
Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 21.03.32
Pastel 16″ x 12″ / 40 x 30cm
Pastel 8″ x 6″/ 15 x 10cm
Pastel 16″ x 12″ / 40 x 30cm
Pastel 8″ x 6″ / 15 x 10cm
Untitled design (2)
Pastel 16″ x 12″ / 40 x 30cm
Pastel 12″ x 12″/ 30 x 30cm
Untitled design (70)
Pastel 8″ x 6″ / 15 x 10cm

Thank you for looking! You can view more of my work at

Continue reading “11 Portraits of German Shorthaired Pointers by Gillian Ussher Art”

Learn to Draw your Dog; Choosing a reference

This post refers to the course ‘Learn to Draw your Dog‘. Please click here for details.

Unless you are drawing an exceptionally patient dog, you should use a photograph as a reference for your drawing. Life drawing is a fantastic skill, especially for capturing movement and atmosphere, but as this course is focused on learning to draw detail and recognisable features a photographic reference is highly recommended. Also I have a Hungarian Vizsla (possibly crossed with a kangaroo) who is 4 going on 6 months, and an over confident but completely blind Jack Russell who sees sitting still as a punishment, so life drawing with any detail is not currently an option for me…

Choosing a reference photograph

Whether you prefer to work from a printed photograph or an image on a computer screen, you will need to choose a photograph that is in focus, sufficiently lit and the dog’s head and shoulders are clearly visible.

In focus – a blurry image will be very difficult to work from. It is often the smallest lines and creases and the subtlest shapes to features that capture a recognisable face in a drawing. All of these are missing or warped in a blurry photograph reference, meaning unique features and character are lost.

Saying this, you don’t need extremely high definition in your reference. If you can clearly see the shape of the eyes and nose, creases in the ears and any wisps or tufts of hair, then your photograph is most likely perfect to work from. If you are in any doubt, ask on the course Facebook group or email me at

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Th clarity of this reference photograph is perfect, the features are all visible and defined and the whiskers can be clearly seen.

Lighting – The image should have enough lighting to allow you to clearly see all of the dog. If it is too dark, you will be faced with large dark areas containing no features or lines to guide your drawing. If it is too bright or overexposed, you will be facing the same problem with large light areas.

The best lighting is almost always natural daylight, but unless your photo is very much in shadow or extremely bright then the lighting is probably perfect. Again, if in any doubt please ask on the course Facebook group or email me at

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Natural daylight makes the best light source, al of the features are clearly visible without extreme shadow distorting the lines and shapes of the face and features.

Clearly visible – You can only draw what you can see, and if any ears, noses, or any part of the dog’s head and should are missing from your reference photograph you will not be able to accurately include them in your drawing.

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Tips of ears are very often cropped from photographs, especially in ‘bat eared’ breeds such as Chihuahuas, French Bulldogs, etc.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions at and please post your choice of reference photograph in the course Facebook group.

Happy New Year!

I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has followed my art this year, and I hope everyone has a brilliant 2019.

Here is a selection of some of my art from the past year, Happy New Year! You can view more art and information on my website www.gillianussherart.comĀ Continue reading “Happy New Year!”

Christmas 2018

Gift guide and ordering information for Gillian Ussher Art, Christmas 2018.

Final ordering date is December 13th!Continue reading “Christmas 2018”

Pencil Sketches

Due to requests, I have recently been taking commissions for pencil sketches. These are a lot smaller, simpler and less expensive than pastel portraits and are a lot of fun to draw.Continue reading “Pencil Sketches”

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