“Everyone has been amazed by the artwork. I couldn't have been more pleased with the result.”
Your pet portrait will be hand drawn in pastels using only the highest quality art materials. Pastels are fantastic for drawing animals. Their softness allows me to create wonderfully soft and fluffy fur textures. The huge range of available colours enables me to accurately recreate the tones of your pet’s fur and eyes. Pastels also allow me to build up many layers within the drawing, creating fantastic depth and realism, to really bring your artwork to life.
I commissioned Naomi to draw our dog Ziggy for my husband's birthday. She was very friendly and helpful when deciding what the final pose should be. I would highly recommend her fantastic drawing skills, the images do not do the craftsmanship justice when you see it in real life. The attention to detail and the ability to capture the personality of Ziggy in a drawing blew my husband and I away. Everyone has been amazed by the artwork and I couldn't have been more pleased with the result. Thank you Naomi.” – Sarah Booth
You can see from these close ups of Ziggy's portrait the wonderful soft textures that pastels give, their vibrant colours, and the amount of detail that I can work into each drawing.
I use a wide variety of chalk pastels for my work. Chalk pastels come in varying degrees of hardness. The hardness is a measure of how much pigment to binder (glue) the pastel contains. Harder pastels allow for sharper details, but have less colour vibrancy, while softer pastels have a much stronger colour, but are more difficult to use for fine details. Therefore, I use a mixture of pastels with varying degrees of hardness for different parts of the drawing.
Chalk Pastels come in a variety of forms including sticks, pencils and Pan Pastels. I use sticks and pencils the most, and occasionally use Pan Pastels for diffuse backgrounds.
Lightfastness is a measure of how resistant a pigment or dye is to fading under UV light. Cheap amateur art supplies are very prone to fading, hence why I never use them. I only ever use high quality professional pastels which have excellent lightfast ratings. This ensures that your portrait is highly resistant to ageing.
I use a wide variety of professional pastel brands. They all have their different strengths, and over the years I’ve come to know which ones work best for different areas of your portrait. Some of the most common brands I use are listed below.
Faber Castell Pitt Pastels
Faber Castell Polychromos
Conté à Paris
Daler Rowner Artists’ Soft Pastels
A small sample of my pastel stick collection.
I use professional sanded pastel paper for all my pet portraits. This type of surface is fantastic for holding lots of pastel pigment, allowing me to build up many layers of colour within your portrait. This results in a highly realistic drawing that has depth, dimension and vivid colours.
The paper I use is acid free. Cheaper papers are made with wood pulp that contains natural acids, and over time this can cause a yellowing effect. By using a professional acid-free paper, you can be sure that your drawing will not yellow over time.
The brand of pastel paper that I use the most is called Pastelmat. I’ve used it for many years and it produces fantastic results. I also occasionally use UArt, for my larger portraits. This is also a brilliant surface and produces incredibly vibrant and detailed, yet soft, textures.
This portrait of Nova the Golden Retriever was drawn on UArt paper. You can see from the close up images the high degree of realism and detail I can achieve with this sort of paper. The amount of layers it allows me to work in works brilliantly for drawing fur.