Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dog Painting in Soft Pastel With WIP Pics



I've had a computer in my studio now for a year, and I love being able to paint from it.  I used to print out a picture on photo paper, and paint from that.  It's so much better using the monitor!  I can enlarge the reference and see much more detail now, which makes my job a lot easier.  I can also use PhotoShop to help compose the image.

For instance, I can put my reference image in PhotoShop and "Posterize" it to show only a few values.  This can help me work through my initial drawing.  Here is the ref posterized:



First I pick a light tone and draw out the highlights:




Next I take a middle and darker tone and place those in the appropriate places:




Next, I use a pastel pencil to work out my drawing:



I add in the background, and continue to work out the drawing:




Still working out my drawing while filling in local color:




Now I'm starting to fill in detail:




Now I've worked out the values for the most part, and just need the foreground and finishing touches:



Finished:


"Dog Tired"
14"x24"
Soft Pastel on Suede Matboard
(SOLD)

(I took these pictures at different times of day, in different lighting, which is the reason for the varying colors.)

If you've seen the demo on my web site, you'll have noticed that this is the same method, with the exception of using the computer.  Isn't technology wonderful?

32 comments:

Torrie Smiley said...

This is fabulous! I love it!

Angela Elledge said...

Gorgeous!! I, too, paint from photos and have heard the benefits of only using the computer; I think you've just convinced me!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Torrie - I'm glad you like it!

Thanks, Angela! Definitely try it. It's so nice to have all the info you need to paint, particularly if your reference photos aren't great in the first place. Being able to enlarge, lighten shadows, etc., is a great help!

Nartizt said...

Spectacular! I too, enjoy working on suede mat board, although it's been awhile. I need to work with it again. I love to see your WIP's and will try your hint about working from the computer screen. And thanks for commenting on my blog today!
Nancy

Ida M. Glazier said...

Love your dog paintings---all so wonderful--and amazenly true to life. Your dog sleeps is odd positions! I use the suede mat board at times, and recently did a tiger! Odd for me, really. How do you like the pastelmat these days? You really have a remarkable eye for all your values.

Roby Baer said...

Kari... Just fabulous as usual, you're the best!! You've got a great subject too!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Nancy! :)

Thanks, Ida! The space where the sun comes in right there is very small, so she gets herself in odd positions sometimes just trying to squeeze into the sunny spot. I haven't done anything on Pastelmat in a while, but I have three paintings planned. They're just on the back burner at the moment.

Thanks for the nice comment, Roby!

Karen Budan said...

I love your dog and have never met him/her. Beautiful demo! I use my computer also....but still print out a picture as well.....must be my "blankie" I need to let you!

Vanessa said...

Beautiful work Kari! I absolutely love the lighting on the fur and the balance of detail... just gorgeous!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Karen! Whatever works. ;)

Thank you, Vanessa - I'm glad you think so!

Diana said...

Wonderful portrait! Thank you for showing your process. But you left out a step... the dog in your final portrait seems to live and breathe. That is magic!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thank you, Diana! It's funny you say that. People are always asking "How do you do that?" and I tell them there's a little bit of magic involved. Somehow that seems to satisfy them more than "years of work." ;)

Reflections From Life Art Blog said...

Nice demo Kari. I love to see hoe other artists work. I love suede board and use colored pencils on it but haven't tried my pastels on it yet.

Love your dog painting. He's a cutie!

Nancy

Nancy Goldman said...

This is wonderful Kari. You've created such a peaceful, adorable image. Of course, dogs are a lot like babies; it's impossible for them to be anything but adorable when they are sleeping, right? What a beautiful painting.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Nancy! That's interesting. I haven't used colored pencils on it. I'll have to try that sometime.

Thank you Nancy G! You're right, they are adorable when they're sleeping. Sometimes she gets in positions that look so uncomfortable, I'm amazed she can sleep through it. :)

Regina Calton Burchett said...

I love this - as I scroll down through the images, I keep thinking this is so good, the final one... and then's there's an even better one next!

Celeste Vaught said...

What a special portrait - I love it. Outstanding art Kari.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Regina! That's very nice of you to say. :)

Thanks, Celeste - I'm glad you think so!

Sandy Byers said...

Wonderful work, Kari. I always enjoy seeing your wips and I adore your pup paintings! Thanks for sharing all those steps :-)

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Sandy! I'm glad you liked it. :)

Art with Liz said...

Your pastel work is absolutely beautiful! I am so struggling with the medium and this kind of info is incredibly helpful.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thank you, Liz! I'm sorry you're struggling, and I'm glad you found this helpful. Feel free to email me if there is anything I can help you with. :)

Mona said...

Kari, thanks for your comment on my latest, and it's wonderful to see your process on suede matt board in this step-by-step, especially on such a magical piece.
Thanks for sharing it!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Mona!

Happy Little Trees Studio said...

Wonderful!!! You know my digital media class (AKA photoshop I) was so hard for me. I love using photoshop in this capacity though. Love the WIP!!!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Kimberly - I'm glad you enjoyed the WIP!

April said...

I really like it! The WIP is very interesting~

Kari Tirrell said...

Thank you, April! :)

Gwen Bell said...

Fascinating! Thanks so much for show your steps in this gorgeous painting!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Gwen!

Oldenbroke said...

Hi Kari -I hope you pay that hound for all his/her modelling! I like the way you posterize the photo; I do much the same, reducing the original to 16 colors, then 32, to try to get a handle on it. And by the way, I just found Peter Barker's blog too.

Kari Tirrell said...

She's a good little model, isn't she? Actually, she spends about 23 hours a day like this, so she doesn't mind doing it for free. When I get an award with one of her paintings,though, she gets turkey. She seems happy with this arrangement. :)