Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Yorkshire Terrier portrait commission

While at a local pub with my friends, I met a woman and started chatting.  Before long she had her iphone out, showing me photos of her recently passed Yorkshire Terrier named Bailey.  As tears filled her eyes she asked if I could possibly paint him from a not so very good photograph.

This is often an artist's nightmare...but I am a pushover for someone who really wants my art and is heartfelt about loving their pet.  So I said yes, and she e-mailed me the photo.  I struggled with enlarging it many times in photoshop, of course lessening the quality of the photo.  Various photos had different values and colors in the I did a composite.

The dog sat on a white blanket that did nothing for the composition.  I thought with all the warm golds, a purple background would help.  So I took out a 9x12" ampersand pastel board and sketched him out on it, giving the purple an underpainting with pastel washed with alcohol.

"Bailey", pastel, 9x12" ©Kim Werfel

Normally, I like to meet the pets....(if I can) and take my own photos.  But I realized that the owners are more interested in having something to remember their 4-legged friend, rather than nothing.  So sometimes a work of art is more of a work of "heart".

This was shipped to Ohio.  So now my work is finding homes in new States.  I find that kinda exciting too.

Thanks for following my blog and have a great day!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pastel Workshop!

Let's Paint At the Beach!!!  My two favorite things in one place - painting in pastels and being near the beach in Beaufort, my favorite little town :)

I'm kicking off Spring by teaching a new pastel workshop coming up Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 from 10 am - 4 pm at the Craving Art Studio, 121 Craven St., Beaufort, NC  28516.  $100 + $30 materials fee.

There'll be an Art Reception there the night before, Friday May 2nd, from 5 - 7 pm.

*Beginners: $30 materials fee for a set of 24 mungyo pastes, 9x12 pad of multi-colored Canson pastel paper,  kneaded eraser, two 8 x 10" sanded foam core boards, foam core backing board and tracing paper.

*Experienced students can opt out of the materials fee by bringing their own pastels, paper, etc.

Please bring your own masking tape, latex gloves, baby wipes, paper towels, a small rag, a smock and a smile!

Contact Heather Sink to register:  252-728-0243, e-mail at

Let's have fun this's been a long, cold, Winter!

Hope to see you there!


This one day workshop is for both beginners and intermediate students.  I'll warm-up with exercises and lead you through two pastel paintings....the Bird's Nest pictured above is a great one for Spring!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blue-Eyed Himalyan Seal Point Cat

Pretty sure I'm finished with "Tuskie", a new pastel pet portrait commission of a blue-eyed Himalayan seal-point kitty cat.  He's 15 years old and wasn't very interested in having his photo taken....but after 60 photos, we agreed on this pose.

Of course, I had to crop out the lovely owner that was holding he glared at me as cats will do when you force them to do anything!

I decided to use a new paper...a German velour paper called Hannemuhle.  It comes in different colors and I chose Ochre as I thought it would play well against his coat.  I've seen other pet pastel artists use it quite successfully.  It's great for depicting fur.  The paper is archival and acid-free as well.

I used this photo as a reference to show his paws, which I wasn't going to include originally, but thought it added a necessary grounding to the portrait.  This photo shows more warm colors in his fur too.

The result:  "Tuskie", pastel on velour paper, 12x16"©KimWerfel.

Thanks for following my blog :)