Monday, November 19, 2018

How to Paint a Tiger Eye and Fur in Oils

Tiger Eye Study
6 x 6 oil on gessoed hard board

Omg, I cannot believe I forgot to share some of my recent works and videos!  It's that time of year where I'm busy with pet portrait commissions as well as trying to keep up to date with videos, social media, all that stuff, and it slipped my mind to share a couple of things.

This tiger eye is a study painted in oils for a YouTube video tutorial.  I show my process for how to paint a tiger eye and fur.  I hope you like it!  If you do, please subscribe to be notified of upcoming videos and give it a thumbs up.

I'm also planning on creating a Patreon channel soon where longer, slower videos will be uploaded with more detailed tutorials for those interested in learning more about my techniques.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

How to Paint Cat Eyes and Fur in Pastels - Narrated Speed Painting Video


In this video, I explain my process for how to paint realistic cat eyes and fur in pastels.  I worked on pastelmat, which is beautiful for working fine details.  The whole piece is 8.5 x 8.5 and took about 4 hours.  I hope you enjoy this video!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

How to Paint Still Life - Tutorial for Beginners

It's been a while since I've posted pet portraits, but that's because they've all been secret Christmas commissions. That's the downfall for artists working in commissions:  it's the time of year we can't show anything.


I did complete this mini tutorial on still life for those of you who are beginner to intermediate artists and want to improve your still life skills, or painting skills period.  Painting still life has always been considered a cornerstone of skill development when it comes to art.

For this lesson, I recorded a narrated YouTube video explaining my process.  I also wrote a PDF with a step by step on what I did to create this realistic pear.  You learn about shadows, lighting, and other important stuff.

The PDF is FREE for those who subscribe to my newsletter!  You can have a look at the video and the PDF can assist you as you paint this pear.  I have also created a Facebook group where I have a reference photo uploaded and people can share their work and help each other.

If this interests you, have a look, sign up for my newsletter, and I will send you the PDF for free.  Just be sure to keep an eye on your spam filter just in case, and allow me 24 hours to send it since there is no autoresponder with my MailChimp newsletter service.

Also, be sure to like my video, then hit the subscribe button right on the screen.  It won't interfere with the video.


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

11 x 14 oil on panel
Carole Rodrigue ©2018

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

8 x 10 pastel on Clairefontaine pastelmat
Carole Rodrigue ©2018

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:

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Yorkie/Pug Mix Portrait

8 x 10 oil on canvas
Carole Rodrigue ©2018

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 . . . .

Thanks for stopping by!