Joey w/bird WIP

Joey w/bird WIP

 Painting Animals

The animal fur painted with pastel can be very soft looking and that’s why I choose to use this medium.

I’m working on a painting of my golden retriever, Joey who will be 15 ½ years old in a couple of weeks.  The idea in my head is a senior golden with white face retrieving a bird.  Joey is ideal as he has that white face and he loves the birds. 

Could not find the perfect photo as I had in mind, even tried to recreate but still had problems.  I took the closest representation and worked from that.  


  1. Drew out the dog on tracing paper then transferred to a 20 x 16 sheet of Uart paper and sprayed the pencil marks with workable fixative to keep the marks from smearing.  You could also draw with a pastel pencil w/o the fixative.
  2. Next I added hard pastel (NuPastels or Polychromos) to use as my underpainting and 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.   Use a cheap bristle brush.  Note, I did not cover all the paper (let some of the paper show through) as the alcohol will blend or melt it into the surface. 
  3. What colors and values to use in your underpainting?

    First I put in the dark values and use this as a guide throughout the painting so they must be in the correct place.  Next I use a little darker color than I would use on the finished painting.  I worked my way through the painting being sure to not use a heavy pastel layer

  4. If you use too much pastel or softer pastel, it will get gummy and fill the tooth of the paper. Try a light layer first as you can always add more if needed.
  5. Brush in the alcohol – don’t worry about drips or staying in the lines.

More to come in next post.