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“Moses” Finished Portrait Commission and Progress

Last week I finished a graphite portrait of a gorgeous, sweet old dog called Moses as a gift for my client’s sister. Now that she’s seen it and it’s been sent off to Germany, I’ve been given the go-ahead to show it to you all! 🙂 I had a lot of fun with this one, especially with the detail work on Moses’s nose. The nose is quite possibly my favourite part of  cat and dog portraits to draw!

"Moses" - 29 x 21cm portrait commission. Graphite on Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed Watercolour Paper.
“Moses” – 29 x 21cm portrait commission. Graphite on Fabriano Artistico Hot Pressed Watercolour Paper.

Below you can see my step-by step process behind the portrait. I make sure I start out with a very detailed rough sketch, which is especially important in close-up portraits where there is a lot of detail in certain areas like the nose. I then “blush” graphite powder onto the paper in the darkest areas of the portrait. This gives myself a better idea of the lights and darks. Then I build up the darks from there, after which I work on adding all of the fine details. My final step is to take a step back to see if the values on the drawing are correct, and lighten/darken areas accordingly. A lot of pencil artists tend to work on a drawing completing everything in one square inch at a time, but my mind just doesn’t work that way. I have to get a generalised plan of what I’m trying to achieve and then gradually and evenly flesh everything out.

moses walkthrough

Up next is a coloured pencil portrait of a lovely ridgeback dog. I’ll be able to share work in progess shots of my next commission with you, so stay tuned for updates in the next few days! See you soon!

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