New Pastel Painting: Alaskan Malamute

So the original post disappeared shortly after it was highlighted on another webpage. Sorry it’s taken a few weeks for me to get the energy to piece it back together. (Very strange and since I don’t know WHY it happened, or even know HOW to find out why, I’m just going to add the photos back and go from there).

The beginning didn’t start out the way I wanted and I quickly discovered that my sketch wasn’t right. I remedied that by covering the entire panel in charcoal and then bringing out the lighter pieces with a kneaded eraser. At this stage, it’s pretty loose and messy looking.

Beginning stage using vine charcoal and a kneaded eraser

Now I’m adding more detail now that I’m satisfied with the placement, but still using just charcoal and eraser. (There might be a little bit of pastel on the right ear).

Refining the detail

It becomes more obvious that I’m adding color now, mainly a soft blue – both to the background and to the fur.

Next step, adding pastels over the charcoal

Adding a second color, mostly a peach color to the fur, to play with the warm and cool sections. Blurring your eyes on the photo helps pick out different colors. I also take a piece of paper with a hole in it and hold it over the photo to identify colors. It’s amazing what you see there that your eye didn’t pick up before.

Adding peach

Getting into the nitty-gritty of the painting, playing with the colors and adding more local color to the nose and eyes.

Playing with the peach and blue. Also added some pink to the nose and orange to the eyes.

Is this like watching paint dry? I can’t help but take tons of photos. I’m adding more black, darkening sections of the fur. I’ve also refined the nose a little more.

Darkening the fur and softening the nose

The final step…you can see that I’ve softened the fur a little. One of my favorite spots is under his chin. It’s really soft there, almost as if he’s shedding and you can gently pull the hair right out. (Does anyone else love to do that? I could do that to these long-haired dogs for HOURS!)

“Wooly Malamute” | 16×20 | pastel