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!