Reni has sent me this picture she has just completed using Pastel Pencils and has asked me for any tips as to how this could be improved. Reni has asked specific questions therefore I am going to address these directly as I think this will be easier for everyone.
“Should I make the background darker?”
The background is of the right strength for the tone of the dog, What I would do is place a few stray hairs over the background to give the picture a more natural look, as indicated by the orange circle.
“Should I use 199,181 or 175 for the nose?”
Generally you would use either 175 or 181 for the nose, eyes etc. not usually both together. The decision should be made right from the start whether you go down the warm earth tones or the cool tones route. This picture sits on the fence a bit although I would have chosen to go down the earth tone route. Therefore I would choose warmer tones which would mean for the eyes, nose etc I would use 175 and not 181. 199 (Black) is not a colour and can be used for all tones. The nose could be darkened to give a more rounded look, at the moment it looks rather flat (see gold arrows).
“Should I have put more Ochre in the eyes?”
Yes and this can be added on top of the darker tones surrounding the pupil, the colour I would use for this would be 187.
“Would you ‘feather’ the ears rather than the individual strands ?”
Yes, the hairs of a dog are very fine, follow the idea that I have shown on the Siamese Kitten picture.
“How can I improve the overall execution?”
We have two choices in a situation like this, either cut off the head like Reni has done and mould this into the background. Or extend the body down the bottom of the picture, which is what I would favour doing in this case. The composition I would suggest is as I have edited and framed in the photo above.
The colour numbers referred above are from the Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel Pencil range, for a full colour list, see our colour chart. Become a member of Colin Bradley Art and learn how to draw using pastel pencils as well as receiving feedback like above on your artwork.