Gabriele asked us a little while ago for some advice on her 2 dogs painting (see it here). She has now completed the subjects but would like some advice on the background.

Hi Steve and Colin

I have finished another commission for a client and have no idea what kind of background I should use so I thought to ask Colin again if he would be so kind and tell me what colour background he would choose?

As one dog is lighter as the other one should the background have to different colours going into each other so the contrast is stronger of each dog? I am thinking of base colours light grey? Also when Colin uses Pastel mat does he use a base colour a well like on the other pastel paper?

Thank you so much!

Kind regards


Ps this is the first time that I did a composition of 2 on one sheet and took Colin s advise. I haven’t finished the fogging out yet.

Painting an Animal Background with Colours You've Already Used

Now in this picture you’ll want to use some variation of colour that you’ve already used in the animal. In answer to the last question, yes I do still apply base colours when using PastelMat.

For this picture I would start off with a light grey, possibly 270 warm grey and put that solid all over the background. Then I would apply the mid grey 273 sparingly and add some of the browns that you have used in the picture. You’ll want to emulate similar backgrounds that I achieve in my projects on this site.

It’s worth noting that when I construct a pastel background I do one colour and then decide on the next. It’s very difficult to decide on the colours ahead of time and my advice would be to do it as you go along.

As always this is simply my advice, if you are unsure about the colours then always try them on spare paper first to ensure you’re happy with the result.

By | 2018-11-01T10:46:45+00:00 November 1st, 2018|Animal Tips|0 Comments