Saturday, March 9, 2013

Yellow Labrador Retriever Portrait

Meet "Sydney", a sweet yellow lab about 13 years old. This commissioned pastel portrait is painted on a light yellow Art Spectrum paper, 13 1/2 square.

When I photographed him in my yard, I was after his expression....he was very submissive, with his head down and ears back, so when he cocked his head and lifted his ears a bit I took the photo.  His owners and I both agreed it was the most expressive photo to use.

There wasn't much color to play up, but I like the contrast of his "Dad's" dark jacket outlining his right side.  I decided to make that shape a tree, softening the edge and adding some color into it.

I put the photo into photoshop, trying to sort out the subtle values as Sydney was in the shade.  His light coat seemed to reflect blues, lavender and mauves in subtle transitions.

I put extra care into painting his eyes....where the soul resides.

I pushed color a bit to give some interest, alternating warms and cools.  Most of the detail is in his eyes, nose and mouth, and were done with pastel pencils.

My style is realistic, but with impressionistic color leanings...and attention to composition.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Commission a portrait of your own.

See my website

Kim Werfel


  1. Thank you so much Felicia. This lovely, sweet dog was wonderful inspiration!

  2. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information... hidden temperament behind french mastiffs

    1. Thank you Mark for your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed this!