Pastel drawing of highland cow

This is my first attempt at drawing with pastels. I am very happy with what I have achieved. Any criticism would be very welcome


Hi Kathy! I love your cow. I love the hair quality. The only issue I have is that the light seems to be coming from the right but the hair on the back of the cow is quite light. Perhaps pushing the values a little darker would help balance the image a little. I really like the colours on the left ear but the hair looks a little “stiff”. I think you did a fantastic job with this very first pastel drawing. It looks like you used a Canson Mi-Teintes or similar paper. If that is the case, you have a really light touch because Mi-Teintes does not hold many layers of pastel. That is quite an achievement! Thanks for sharing this.

Hi Patricia. Thank you for your kind reply. The paper I used was Daler and Rowney 98lb. I used the rough side for no particular reason as I didn’t know what I was doing. I used Inscibe pastels and Stablio pastel pencils.
Your comment about his left ear is appreciated. I think it was an area I meant to go back to and then forgot. Sometimes I think I spend so much time looking at a drawing that I just don’t see anymore. The light on the body is an interesting point. In the original photo the is a lot of bright light surrounding the horn we see on the left. The light on the upper right side of his face as we are looking at it is much brighter than I have achieved. So yes you are right, and thank you, the light hairs on his body should be darker to give more contrast.
Again, thank you for your generous comments

Hi Kathy - Love your highland cow. Thought I’d chime in on the discussion about paper. The one that I’m in love with for pastels and colored pencils is called Pastelmat, by Clairefontaine. It’s more expensive than a lot of papers but is delightful to work on because it accepts a lot of layers. It can be found on-line at Amazon and at Blick. When you draw on this you won’t see the paper texture showing through and will have an easier time capturing details. It comes in white and as toned paper too.

Terri Robichon

Hi Terri
Thank you for that. I’ll definitely follow it up

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Hi Kathy! If you revisit those areas, it would be fun to see what corrections you changes you made (I find it very helpful to see before and after retouching). Oh, by the way, I saw Terri’s suggestion about the paper. Since you are in the UK (I think) you probably already know about Jackson’s Art. If so, you might be able to get the Pastelmat at a good price there. I love Jackson’s Art because they are often less expensive for me to order supplies than ordering from the U.S. (exchange and shipping are both quite prohibitive right now).
Have fun!

Amazing! I love all the colors in use, even the blue! It all complements each other really well! :clap: :smile: