How To Draw A Jack Russell Dog
BE16, BV 10
Craft knife & sandpaper
GY17, BV 14
101, 103, 132
Pastelmat and tape
199, 140, 182
Drawing board, tracing paper
Pastel Drawing of Jack Russell
Starting to Paint Your Dog Portrait
The very first thing to do before beginning any pastel painting is to firmly tape your paper, in this case, pastelmat to your drawing surface with masking tape. I paint using a drawing board on an easel, so that falling pastel dust drops on to the floor rather than muddying my work.
For this particular demonstration, I enlarged a photo of my dog, Archie and transferred it to Pastelmat using the method I described in my hub about enlarging images for drawing. This gave me a simple outline of my dog to work with.
Jack Russell image traced on to Pastelmat
The First Layer of Pastel
Once your outline is transferred on to your paper in the way you want it, it's time to think about the background. The background needs to take second place to the drawing of your Jack Russell, so it's important to think about the colours you use. Archie is a tan and white dog, so I chose to use blues and greens, as blue is a complementary colour to orange (or in Archie's case tan!). Using complementary colours allows the orange colour of the dog to really jump forward.
Background Pastel For Jack Russell Painting
It's also really important to decide which direction the light is falling on to your painting. In this case, I made the light fall from top left, so the left and upper parts of the painting are highlighted.
I began the background using Unison BV10, placing this all around Archie's head. I then used Unison BV14 around the top margins of my paper and more heavily to the right and lower areas of the paper. To break up all that blue, I used UnisonA45 to the right and lower parts of the page.
I blended these colours together using my fingers.
I blocked in the Jack Russell's coat with Unison BE16 for the tan areas and Unison GY17 for the shadow areas of his white fur. Dark brown areas under the ears I blocked in with Unison A38, again, blending the colours with my fingers.
I rarely fix my pastel work, but in this instance I did use a natural, milk protein fixative, as I wanted to be able to work in fine detail over the base layer.
Draw Jack Russell Fur
How To Draw Dog Fur
Next, use the Faber-Castell Pitt Pencils to create the fine lines of the Jack Russell fur. Sharpen the pencils using sandpaper to create fine points and use just the points of the pencils. for this drawing, I used a range of tan and brown pencils to create the bulk of the tan fur, using a blue (140) sparingly to create areas of deep shade, and used white pencil to create the white fur. Black (199) was reserved only for the eyes and nose, to make these stand out and yellow-ochre (183) was used for the iris of the eye.
Finishing Off Your Pastel Drawing
Once you are happy with your drawing, you need to deide whether or not to fix it. Most professional pastel painters do not fix their work, so if you are going to be framing your work it is probably better not to fix. As this piece is going into my etsy store and may be posted anywhere in the world, unframed, I decided to risk the small change in colour that happens when fixing and sprayed.
The best fixative I have found so far, in that the colour change is truly small is spectraFix, Degas, Pastel Fixative, which is natural and made from milk casein.