Monday, April 16, 2012

"Nicky in the Snow"

And now for something completely different!

After painting several small pieces and using different supports, I'm challenged to paint a large piece of a beautiful Sheltie in the snow.

"Nicky in the Snow", 18x30", pastel ©Kim Werfel

This piece is painted on Kitty Wallis paper mounted on my new favorite backing, 3/16" Gatorboard.  The paper is dry-mounted at the framers onto Gatorboard before I start, so I have a warp-free, lightweight board that easily framed too.

Nicky's portrait is for a repeat client who e-mailed me his photo taken in Asheville, NC.  He has two other beautiful Shelties that I've painted in the past.  See them here on my website.

I underpainted parts of this piece with a wash of acrylic paint in the dark parts to save some pastel build-up.  Since this is so large, I've included some close-ups....

Nicky's face was small here in proportion to the rest of the piece, so I needed to use my pastel pencils for detail.  Using impressionistic color for interest worked as long as the values and intensities were correct.

There were many more tree branches with lots of snow in the photo that actually started to compete with Nicky so I edited them out to create something less distracting, yet still told the story of snowy branches.

This corner of the work had some tangled underbrush which I simplified...keeping the color harmony with the rest of the piece.

Hope you enjoyed my journey with Nicky!

For a beautiful portrait of your own four-legged best friend, just e-mail me at
Rates and commission info are at

Thanks for following my work,


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