View Full Version : 3 Pups in Pastel

03-06-2017, 06:37 PM
I just started a new piece this morning. These three pooches are all rescues and full of personality. As this is my first pastel piece, I would appreciate any and all feedback along the way.


This piece will be 13x19.

Thank you in advance for looking and any feedback you can provide.



chammi kaiser
03-07-2017, 08:57 AM
Looking pretty good to me. I am no expert with pastels so I hope Vivien will comment. She is fantastic.

03-07-2017, 09:48 AM
This will be fun to watch it come to life; these three look so happy in your WIP. Although I did and still do a pastel from time to time, am no expert like Viv is.

03-07-2017, 12:04 PM
Looks great so far, I really like the reference pic. I look forward to updates :)

03-07-2017, 12:33 PM
Very good start. Dear dogs!

What paper and pastels are you using.

03-07-2017, 01:07 PM
Thank you, All!

Penny, I am using Strathmore's 400 series 80 lbs. Pastel paper (Sand-colored) and Stabilo's CarbOthello 60 ct. Chalk-pastel drawing pencils. Still learning the technique(s) and can't say (yet) how the compare. But they seem to work :)

Thanks again for looking. As always, I appreciate any and all critiques.



Vivien Maloney
03-07-2017, 05:27 PM
Awwww, look at them all sitting so beautifully to get their photo taken! Aren't they all lovely!

This will be good and looks like it's going well Rob. No critique at this stage, but don't forget to ground them well with good dark shadows. Your technique with your pastel pencil looks great and I like the color of the pastel paper you are using.
Looking forward to your updates.

03-07-2017, 05:47 PM
Thank you, Viv! I look forward to the updates myself. I have to remind myself not to get in a hurry and allow the piece and my mind a chance to regain composure. I have found this patience keeps me motivated to continue with a piece and have been pleasantly surprised with this new approach. Expert critiques and feedback also help a bunch (understatement) ;)

03-09-2017, 10:38 AM

This morning I began to redefine the snout of "Moose" the Bull Mastiff as well as add my 1st layer of color. I'm wondering how far I should go before moving on to the next subject.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience(s) they can share for this 1st timer? Is it better to complete one subject at a time (to completion) or complete each stage of shading/coloring for all 3 subject at the same relative time?


As always, thank you for your feedback and critiques.



03-11-2017, 11:55 PM
Update: 3/11/2017

Worked on this piece today. Excited about the progress and looking forward to any and all CC.


Thank you for looking.



03-12-2017, 01:51 AM
Looking good so far. Who couldn't love those faces!?

03-14-2017, 03:05 PM
Thank You, Crista!
I have managed to get initial pastel coverage on all 3 pups. I will begin to add. depth and dimension to the background and then move forward to add changes/details to the pups. I've decided to make this piece 2 inches taller in order to allow greater depth to the background without changing the proportions of the pups. Final size will be 14"x18".


Thanks for looking. CC always appreciated.



chammi kaiser
03-15-2017, 02:33 AM
You are doing a terrific job. Watching with interest. Thanks for sharing.

03-15-2017, 03:26 AM
Looking great so far

03-15-2017, 06:09 PM
Thanks, Chammi!
Thanks, Robert!

03-16-2017, 02:05 PM
Excellent! I am enjoying following your progress. When I painted three dogs together, I did the eyes of each dog, then noses, then added layers to each one - I didn't paint one dog completely before moving on, but this is just one way. Other people will paint in a different order. 😎😀

03-16-2017, 04:57 PM
Thank you for your feedback. In hind-sight, I wish I had asked the question before I started, but this has been a fun learning experience! I think that I too am wired as you to layout it out first and build on the stages of each subject at relatively the same time. I still have bit more blocking (shading?) to do on the dogs before I move onto highlights. I'll try and work the blocking and highlights of all three at the same respective stage.

But first, I need to finish my background. I started this morning and am enjoying seeing the composition come together.


Thanks again for your feedback.



03-16-2017, 09:59 PM
I suggest you don't go into such detail with the background. There is really nothing to be gained by putting in such detail. You could just loosely indicate there is something in the background and it will keep the focus on the dogs. This is a case when "less is more". The dogs are really coming along very well.:thumbsup:
Do keep updating your progress.

09-04-2017, 02:52 PM
Greetings from Kingwood, TX!
It has been a while since I last posted- nearly 6 months. Work, home improvements, and a new baby have limited my time at the easel, but I'm hoping my schedule will allow me some more time to draw.

Just wanted to add a couple of updates on "3 Pups" over the past 6 months.


Hope you enjoy the progress. Thank you for any and all constructive comments, feedback, and suggestions.

Until next time,


09-04-2017, 03:12 PM
great seeing your process. nice job

09-04-2017, 05:46 PM
You may be a 1st timer with chalk pastels. I'm only a 4th timer with them. You seem to be doing a good job with them. If you can figure a good way to do whiskers, please let me know. Dark whiskers okay, white whiskers not so good. On the Lab, even though the highlight on it's eye is fairly bright in the photo, I would recommend darkening it a bit on the drawing. It is too bright, and too distracting, even in the photo. Also, don't forget to put some texture and cracks into the rock so it looks more realistic. This is going to be beautiful when done.

Barbra G
09-05-2017, 02:57 AM
I think this is going so well and has been particularly interesting to me as this week I have started on pastel pencils too. Mostly I work in scratchboard or graphite.
I am a little concerned that you have still got a bit of a halo (green) around the dogs. I think you are doing extremely well, I hope I can do as well.

chammi kaiser
09-05-2017, 05:25 AM
You really are doing a superb job on these dogs. The green halo concerns me too. It need to be integrated into the background. Congrats on the new baby. Can't be easy trying to do such a complicated work with a little one demanding a lot of attention.

09-05-2017, 06:08 AM
wow, that reference is awesome, how you managed to make them sit and stay like that??? looking forward for your finished pastel drawing, looking good so far :)

09-06-2017, 08:14 AM
Very good to see your excellent progress. 😎

09-06-2017, 04:55 PM
Does anyone have any thoughts or experience(s) they can share for this 1st timer? Is it better to complete one subject at a time (to completion) or complete each stage of shading/coloring for all 3 subject at the same relative time?

I would say everything at the same time, even the background. I will help you to harmonize colors and values, and, in the long run, it is quicker.