Wednesday, 23 September 2015

As Happy As...

Pastel on Sennelier Pastelcard, 23 x 19 inches

I just love painting pigs, mainly because of their gorgeous, pink noses! This chap, a Gloucester Old Spot, was a wonderful subject with his coarse hair and the black and white markings. 

I like to employ as much counterchange as I can with my portraits - dark against light and light against dark - it just gives the subject a three dimensional quality. I think it gives the animal or human more energy somehow, rather than appearing like a cardboard cut-out on a plain background. And it serves another purpose - it doesn't matter about getting marks on the background, because you can cover them up! I get plastered in Pastel when I use the medium, so it's much easier to paint the background as well, and I think it is just as important as the subject, giving it more life. 

I also like to blurr the edges of the painting to focus the eye on the eyes and head. I don't like to see sharp cut-offs on some otherwise brilliant portraits of animals, because there is always the danger of them appearing like portraits of severed heads, rather than living characters, full of joie de vivre


  1. precious to see a happy pig,he's lovely!

    1. Thank you John and Barbara - he's quite a character isn't he!


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