Monday, May 28, 2012

Children with their dogs Portrait

Being commissioned to paint an outdoor scene with a sister and brother, each with their dogs, excited me when I got the call a few months ago.  Who knew how much work this would turn out to be!

"Family Portrait", pastel on Wallis paper, 21x31", ©Kim Werfel

The first challenge was the photo shoot....choosing where and getting the dogs to look at the camera and the kids to try and have a natural smile.  They were all pretty was the weather thank goodness!

(original photo)

Didn't like the tree growing in between them...or the house in the background, so I removed them but pretty much kept the rest of the composition the same.  Loved the rock and the natural feel of the landscape. 

Older dog

The boy's dog was elderly and deaf...very sweet but hard to get her attention... the kids were troupers and very polite...lovely to work with.

Girl with younger dog

The girl's dress seemed to have lavender shadows, so I went with it.  The tiny toes and fingers were really tricky to get just right...sometimes just suggesting instead of putting it all in.

The biggest problem I had was doing their portraits so very, very small....their faces were less than two inches long so all the details and nuances had to be done with specs of pastel pencil!  Very challenging...I don't recommend it.

While making this I heard in my head the wise words of my teacher years ago saying that you don't want to paint portraits too small or larger than I know why.

All in all this was a learning experience...this portrait combined landscape painting, dog portraits, children's portraits, photography skills and figure drawing all in one. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Kim Werfel


  1. This a greatest piece of art work. It is looking same just like the real picture.