Brenda has sent me this picture of a Bulldog she has just completed and has asked for my advice and tips to help her improve the work. Brenda was unsure about sending this into me as she felt that it was not a good enough effort, I have to disagree with that as I feel that she has done well considering this was a tricky subject and not a very good photograph to work from.
The main point I would like to raise is one that you hear from me most often, that is there is not enough depth of colour in the darker areas resulting in a poor contrast. A little black (199 in the faber-castell pitt pastel pencil range) carefully applied to the areas indicated by the black arrows would immediately change the dynamics of the painting.
I would also add a few touches of colour to the picture, like a little 131 (medium flesh) in the corner of the eye and under the mouth, see reference photo above. 186 (terracotta) used carefully in the areas I have circled would again improve the overall tone.
Brenda has said that although she was not too pleased with the result she did enjoy painting the picture. Small adjustments like those I have mentioned will greatly enhance a picture as well as being fun to do.