Below are my reference photos and sketch of Sally, my friend’s cat. My friend asked me to do a portrait of Sally. I’m questioning every decision I’m making at this point, including size, materials, paper, whether I can actually do it, etc.
I’m thinking I want to do the portrait with pan pastels and pastel pencils. My laid out picture plane is 8 x 10, pastelmat paper. I think I’m posting all this to garner any suggestions you guys might have and to have a place to post my in-progress images. Wish me luck, and please send along any advice you might have.
I think you are off to a good start. I do not have much experience with pastels, especially pan pastels as I do not have one.
Does your friend want the whole cat or just a portrait? I do like the poise of the picture you sketched out better for the whole cat or even if she wanted just a portrait. The placement of the focal point looks like it is in one of the thirds and the tail brings some movement to the layout also.
Maybe it you did a small, thumbnail sketch fully rendered, 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 first to get a feel for it.
Don’t second guess yourself, if you have fun then it will show in the final piece of artwork.
I did one of a friends cat, but just the face, stagnant image, turned out okay I suppose, I’ll put it here and maybe it will encourage you to have more confidence. Looking forward to the step by step progress.
Thank you, Teri! I love the kitty you did! I think I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the colors that Sally has. My friend and I talked about the image, and decided a full-length, whole-body drawing would be nice. I think I’m going to proceed with it, and maybe come back with a second image of just a portrait of Sally’s face and upper body. She has such amazing eyes, but her paws are so cute, too! LOL! I’ve been playing with it. I think I’m leaning toward more pastel pencils than pan pastels or sticks. I might employ the sicks and pan pastels when I get to the body. However, at 8 x 10, the face is small enough that using anything larger than pencils would be really difficult.
I so appreciate your input, Teri! And thanks for sharing your drawing.
Thanks, June! Yes, I was using the pencils for the face mainly. I got a bit farther along, and every started looking weird. It all went south from there! I lost my contour lines for the sides of the face, and I somehow kept messing up the details. I made the decision to scrap this effort and do it differently.
If I’m going to do the entire cat, I need to go larger. If I want to stay with 8 x 10, I need to go with just the head and upper body — a “portrait” in the true sense of the word. The eyes need to be the star of the show.
I also want to change to colored pencils. If I went for a larger size, I would probably stay with pastels. I’m going to regroup this evening and will post a new beginning for the project. I’ve already learned several things from this experience.
I am looking forward to seeing your work in progress! I agree the standing/sitting up picture is best.
On the portrait I did I used soft pastels, and pastel pencils for the detailed hairs. I also used some of my polychrome pencils and they work wonderful together. They cut through the soft pastels but did not disrupt them. Another thought!
OK! And I’m off! I have changed to a 10 x 14 format on Mi-Teintes pastel paper. I plan to use pan pastel, Nu-pastel, and pastel pencils. I’m finished for tonight. I just had to get the sketch on paper before I go to bed. Thank you all for your amazing support and wonderful input!