Commissions · Pastel painting · Step-by-step

Jack the Foxhound

DSC00971The Rice’s Hotel Hughlett Tavern Foundation in Heathsville, Virginia has a silent auction made up of donations from it’s members every year during their big Kentucky Derby Party Fund Raiser in May. This year, I donated one 9X12 pastel painting in which the patron got to have his or her pet painted. It’s a $100 value so I had hoped the offer would raise a little money for the Tavern.

Turns out the winner of the auction prize bid on it in order it give this commissioned painting to her parents. They happened to have a rescued fox hound by the name of Jack.

So, I met with them about 10 days later and took lots and lots of photos. Jack was not cooperative apparently and my photos did not capture his personality in the way his “parents” wanted. So I went back again and this time we settled on one that they both liked. There are a whole bunch of photos of Jack that I like even better and will probably do another painting from one of those that are a bit more loose since the finished work will not need to be recognizable.

In any case, I took lots of progression photos.

I started with a fairly good sketch using a neutral pastel pencil. Then I nearly lost the drawing when I went over it, blocking in some basic ground colors and putting on an alcohol wash. I’m using 600 UArt paper, by the way. You can see the photo I’m using for reference.


My drawing is still off. The far eye is too high and the nose is too short and the mouth is at the wrong angle. These got adjusted as I went along. But I started laying in some more color and started working on my focal point (the nearest eye). DSC00949

Some more layers of pastel went on and I started trying to sort out the nose issue and far eye problem.



I began laying in some of the background colors and worked on developing some of the face.


Getting in a few more details and back and forth with colors. DSC00971

The final version. At least I think it will be. Jack’s “mom” is gone and so is the leash.

And here is my “working box” for this painting. As I pull a pastel, I put it in the box so I don’t have to searching for it again when I need it. DSC00973

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.