For Stanley’s portrait I worked from a fantastic reference photo taken by Gail Fogarty.
Based on the French verb gicler which means “to squirt or spray”, giclée printing involves squirting microscopic dots of specialist archival pigment ink onto high quality fine art paper with exceptional accuracy.
Even though I have lots of Hungarian Vizsla products a Wire Haired Vizsla was missing, and was one of the breeds suggested which I thought was a great idea. Hettie’s mum put forward this great photo to use as a reference.
Unless I am drawing a large or complicated piece, I prefer to do a simple sketch first and then change or tweak anything I’m unhappy with as I add layers of pastel. Mia’s markings really threw me off with this one however, the white on her muzzle kept tricking me into thinking everything was crooked! You can make out the several faint pencil marks of previous attempts on this sketch.
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.
With any original piece of art, it is highly recommended to use a professional framer and it is too easy to damage the artwork. If you decide to tackle framing yourself, here are some tips that may be useful…
Extra Small – 8″ x 6″ / 15 x 10 cm As a general guide a 8″ x 6″ size is suitable for a single pet’s head and shoulder portrait:
I always find it amazing to watch my dogs turn from floppy snoring sofa cushions into crazy energetic explorers at the slightest mention of a walk, and I really want to capture that with each painting in this series. To watch them interact with the environment and turn the world into their playground never ceases to fascinate me!
It can be difficult to decide whether or not to include a background when commissioning a painting or drawing. Here are five different background options.
Black animals are notoriously difficult to photograph, so I was really glad to get such great reference photographs of these two black Labradors.