Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Double-Dog Dare Ya!

Anyone who has seen "The Christmas Story" knows about the Double-Dog Dare!  Well, being asked to do a double-dog portrait two weeks before Christmas felt like that.

Gremlin & Violet, pastel, 18x24"©Kim Werfel

This portrait really was delightful....these two border collie/Australian Shepherd mixes were adopted from an animal different times, but look like they could have been from the same litter.  Their happy expressions tell us how loved and well-cared for they are.

I'll walk you through some of the steps I took creating them....first was the selection of a grey Wallis paper, 18x24".   Then I sketched in the large shapes and values with black pastel and an alcohol wash.

I started to experiment with color to liven up the black dogs....


Used a variety of warm colors that were in the leaves of the photograph for the background....

Finished with more attention to the back-lighting and details in the eyes, nose and expression.

They plan to frame them and have them on the wall Christmas morning!  So exciting to be part of a family's Christmas surprise present!

Hoping you all have a lovely, happy and memorable Christmas holiday and a Happy New Year!



  1. Hey Kim,
    It's nice to see the steps. Yes, I always get lots of color into the blacks. It seems there are many black pets! Congrats on a nice piece.

    1. Thanks Shannon!
      Black or white dogs/cats are really fun, since you can spice them up with color that works with the temperature/intensity and value.

      Wishing you a fabulous 2013! :)