The pencils I love to work with

After working with soft pastels, I discovered Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils. What I particularly love about them is that I’m still able to get a soft effect that’s great for animal drawings, but also that these pencils can still be layered and blended with far less dust than soft pastels.

My process involves a base layer of Pan Pastels which is followed by several layers of pastel pencils.

As well as my rather comprehensive set of Faber Castell pencils, I also use Stabilo Carbothello and Derwent pastel pencils depending on the colour I am looking for. The Carbothello range is particularly good for adding layers and detail over the top of the Pitt pencils as they are a harder pastel.

About the new portrait style

These smaller illustrations are stunning and a little different. They would add an amazing focal point on a light colored wall.

Basically, I have used white pencil on black paper to only show highlighted areas. This photo shows the initial outline. It’s important to remember to only add the lines that will be in the light!

The process then involves drawing in these areas in ‘fur-like’ strokes and varying the pressure of the pencil according to how bright these areas are.

As the strokes are added, the picture starts to take shape.

What are my business values?

What are business values?

Business values should be at the heart of every business and reflect it’s principles, beliefs and purpose.

As an artist creating personalized pet portraits, I have my own set of criteria to which I hold myself accountable.

I work with every client so that the finished product is exactly what they envisioned it would be.

How do I do that?

By involving the client in the entire process; from choosing the best photo, to showing mock-ups of different colour papers, to sending progress photos so there is opportunity for discussion, feedback and suggestions.

To foster a good client relationship, I think it is important to respond to any questions/requests as soon as possible. This gives the feeling of being valued and fosters a trusting relationship.

This is what is vitally important to creating a beautiful result.

How many layers in a drawing?

Short answer: I have no actual idea!

The paper I use has a very slight ‘tooth’ to it, which means it can take a few layers. As you can see from the photo, there are many subtle colours and blends even in this small section.

My process involves many light pencil layers which I blend and then add more colours on top, to accentuate features and create depth.

If I used just one or two colours even for fur that appears black, it would end up looking flat. Even black fur has hints of blue and purple which I lay down first to add depth and then layer greys and finally black over the top.

I know when I have reached the limit of layers that the paper can take, because any further colour added won’t stay on the paper. This has to be kept in mind when working so you ‘don’t run out of tooth’ before the final colour is put on.