Thursday, September 13, 2018

German Shepherd Pastel Painting

Wally (pastel pet portrait)
8 x 10 pastel on Clairefontaine pastelmat
Private collection
Carole Rodrigue ©2018


Friends, this is Wally and he is an absolutely beautiful GSD I recently had the pleasure of painting.  I love the muted tones in this portrait, with his face clearly being the focal point.  His eyes seem to contain so much wisdom.  Or, maybe he's looking at someone thinking, "Hey, that's my stick?"  😉

Whatever he's thinking, I think anyone can agree he is a magnificent beast.

Wally's portrait was painted on Clairefontaine pastelmat.  It has become my favourite support for painting pastel pet portraits,  I love how easily the pastels flow on the paper and at how well it holds the pastel.

I don't spray my pastel portraits because sprays darken the painting, and since pastels are nearly pure pigment, they don't need it.  Once under a glass frame, a pastel portrait is very well protected.  Also, spraying terrifies me since I've seen pastel paintings ruined by splotched that were spit out of clean, brand new cans.  I just don't trust them and would rather not even risk all that work.  The purity of pastels is good enough under glass and there are many pastel paintings which are well over 100 years old that still look as good as the day they were created.

While painting this piece, I recorded my process.  I feel it's fun for people to see what is involved in creating a pastel pet portrait.  This video is condensed to under 8 minutes, but there is over 8 hours of work involved.  Enjoy watching it, and don't be afraid to contact me for information, or even leave a comment!


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Aussie Pastel Pet Portrait


Luna
11 x 14 oil on panel
Carole Rodrigue ©2018
SOLD 

This pretty girl is Luna, an Aussie who I had the pleasure of painting recently.  When I was commissioned to paint her, I fell in love with her inquisitive, expressive eyes.  She just looks like a dog who is waiting for the next fun instruction.

Her pet portrait was painted with oils and I chose to do her on a panel, which is my favourite  when it comes to painting pets or any animal with oils.  They allow for smooth brush and paint flow, and I find I can create better details because I'm not fighting with the grain in canvas.

I hope you like Luna's painting.  She certainly was a treat to paint and I look forward to sharing some more pet paintings very soon!

By the way, pet portrait commissions requests are already coming in for Christmas, so please don't delay if you're thinking of having a painting made of your dog or cat, or any other pet.  I paint these pet portraits from your photos and the process is simple. Message me through the side link for more info.

P.S.  Here's a little clip showing some brush work on Luna.



Monday, September 3, 2018

New Pastel Pet Portrait: Francesca


Francesca
8 x 10 pastel on Clairefontaine pastelmat
Carole Rodrigue ©2018
SOLD

Francesca was a recent commission from a group of school board colleagues to their co-worker as a retirement gift.  I was excited when I was commissioned to paint this sweet girl.  It's not often that I get to paint snow, so it was a treat.  This led to another commission with snow and a black dog, which I'll be starting on soon.  It'll be a Christmas gift so I won't be able to show it until later.

Painting her little Burberry dog coat was also fun.  Francesca is really styling in that coat!

Hope you enjoyed this one.  You might also enjoy this portrait here:
http://rodrigueart.blogspot.com/2018/05/merlot-dog-portrait-in-pastels.html

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Yorkie/Pug Mix Portrait

Lily
8 x 10 oil on canvas
Carole Rodrigue ©2018
SOLD

How do you like these sweet peepers!?  I just love little Lily's eyes.  The whole time I was painting her, I kept calling her Miss Lilly.  I've met her a couple of times and she is such a sweet doll.  She is a Yorkie Pug mix and her painting was a birthday surprise.  A very nice man bought a gift certificate, which he gifted to his beloved.  She was then able to pic out what she wanted painted for herself and was so please with her pooch's painting.

If you want to commission a pet portrait but are unsure of which photo to use or don't have any, gift certificates are available also.  This is a convenient and easy way to gift a pet portrait either in oil or pastel for a special someone.

Here is a photo of the first layer of oil paint I had applied for Lily's painting . . .


And here is a short video clip showing the very delicate pressure I'm using on my brush to apply fine hairs.  Minimal pressure is important as well as loading very little paint.  Too much paint and you have a blob, and too much pressure, and you end up with a thick messy brush stroke.  This is why an oil painting takes so much more time than a pastel.  I work in layers to create realistic depth, with each requiring drying time before the next can be applied, otherwise the paints blend and you end up with mud.  Second, once I'm at the detailing stage, it takes time to work with the small brushes I use.  These allow me to create a highly detailed, realistic painting.  When I say each piece is painted with love, I mean it!

Here's that little video, shot with my phone for Instagram so forgive the narrow angle . . .
(~clearing throat . . . yes, that was a plug for my Instagram so you could give it a follow, if you're so inclined . . . ) 😉



And if you thought Lily was a Shih Tzu, you're not alone.  I thought so too.  If you want to see my latest Shih Tzu pet portrait in pastel, you can have a look here . . . .

http://rodrigueart.blogspot.com/2018/08/daydreaming-shih-tzu-pastel-painting.html

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Daydreaming Shih Tzu Pastel Painting

 Rainy Days
8 x 10 pastel on Clairefontaine pastelmat
Carole Rodrigue ©2018


This is my girl Taja and she hates to have her photo taken.  I called the painting Rainy Days because she looks as though she's looking outside longingly during a rainy day.  At least, that's what could be interpreted.  Actually though, she despises having her photo taken and will usually turn her head.  This time, she was just pretending to ignore me.  What a character she is, and I just adore her and love painting her when I'm looking to practice with new mediums or surfaces.  All this though is just to say that if your pet is difficult to photograph as mine is, sometimes the best shots are the impromptu ones.  Your dog or cat just going about their business, looking out the window, playing, sitting outside, all those natural things they do, can make excellent pet portraits.  If your pet won't sit still for a photo, try capturing them doing something they do naturally.  Beautiful paintings can be made with these and they capture your pet's true nature.  Catch them at just being themselves.

With this portrait, I had received new Caran d'Ache pastel pencils as well as Clairefontaine pastelmat and I was giving them a good try.  I fell in love with both the pastel pencils and the pastelmat, and I will be a lifer!  Nothing compares to the Caran d'Ache unless you're using a soft pastel stick like a Rembrandt or Sennelier.  These are beautifully soft and buttery, but the pencils are quite handy for small detail work.  As for the pastelmat, I love its ability to hold a lot of pastel, the ease of blending, and the ability to detail.

If you're unsure about which medium you prefer, oil or pastel, consider that both are excellent. I do charge less for my pastels because my turn around time is less than a more intensive oil painting.  Both have beautiful pigment.  I only use professional quality materials to ensure archival quality.  Pastels do need to be protected under glass but they are almost pure pigment.  There's no need to fear pastels and they do give such an amazing realistic finish and ability to detail.

I'll be back soon with more pet portraits to share.  Thanks for stopping by, and here's a quick video showing some of my pet portraits close up.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Chihuahua Pet Portraits in Oil

Tyson
8 x 10 Oil on canvas
Carole Rodrigue ©2018
SOLD 


The Amigos
18 x 24 Oil on canvas
Carole Rodrigue ©2018
SOLD

It's been a while since I've uploaded any paintings to my blog, and for this I apologize.  I'll be uploading several in the coming days, so please bear with me.

This cute little bunch of pups is owned by the same family.  The first painting, Tyson, was sadly a memorial painting.  He had just passed when I was commissioned and he was gifted to my client's husband who I'm told loved him so much and was heartbroken.  He was a truly sweet looking dog.  

The second painting, was the whole posse of chihuahuas owned by the family.  They are from left to right, Mary, Tido,Tyson, and Logan. They were standing on a deck and my client wanted it painted in.  I think each pup is so adorable and I'm happy I was able to capture their personalities.

Anyway, I'll post another piece tomorrow, so do come back.  If you want, you can also select to be notified by email.  Just look for the link. And, if you're thinking of having your own dog, cat, horse, or other beloved pet painted, just contact me for info.  The process is easy.  Send me your photos, we decide on a size, whether it's pastel or oil, and you approve the painting once it's done before deciding if you  want to go ahead with the purchase.  A deposit is required.  More pet portrait commission info and prices can be found here

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Merlot, Dog Portrait in Pastels

Merlot
8.5 x 11
Carole Rodrigue ©2018
SOLD

This adorable little guy is Merlot.  When I was commissioned to paint him, I received a few photos and the one I used for this portrait instantly jumped out at me.  The cute tilt of his head is a look that all dog owners know and love about their pets.  To be able to capture it in a painting, priceless!

Merlot's pet portrait was given as a birthday gift and I'm told the recipient loved her gift!  I can't tell you how much I adored painting this little guy.

In fact, I'm absolutely in love with doing pet portraits in pastels.  I recently started using Clairefontaine pastelmat and am super pleased with this support.  I had other pastelmat which wasn't exactly like the Clairefontaine.  I still love using the UART sanded paper too, so I will use both.  I think I'll reserve the sanded paper for larger pieces.

And speaking of pastel supplies, I recently ordered a few Caran d'Ache pastel pencils to try out.  I am now forever ruined for other pencils.  These are the cream of the crop, the cadillac of pastel pencils.  I instantly fell in love so hard with them, that I made a goal of ordering the full 84 pencil set which comes in a wooden box.  It's an investment, that's for sure, but well worth it for a professional artist.

Anyway, within 24 hours of setting my intention, I sold two paintings, and in the next two days, I received two large commissions which way more than cover the price.  I took this as a clear sign that I could go ahead and order my set, so I did! When you set a clear intention and do something to make it happen, the universe will indeed help you!

My set should be coming in tomorrow or the next day, so I will take a video and photos and maybe do a post on these beautiful pastels.

Until then . . . ta-ta for now!