View Full Version : Cooper, the Most Handsome

06-01-2010, 09:27 PM


Title: Cooper, the Most Handsome
Year Created:
Medium: Colored Pencil
Surface: Paper
Dimension: 8 x 10
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is a pet portrait using one reference picture from the pet owner. I wanted to achieve a realistic likeness and have a painterly look to the piece. I was stuck by the light shining through one ear and tried to get that sunlight feeling in the picture. I also want my drawings to have "extra" color, more than what we see when first looking at the real thing or a photograph.

I would like feedback on the feeling of the picture. I struggle with white hair, and white in general. Imput on color and contrast, composition, colored pencil techniques will be helpful.<br><br>Any comments on what I could do to make this piece better will be greatly appreciated.<br><br>Thanks.

06-01-2010, 11:10 PM
Oh, how beautiful! He has such the same feeling as in the photo. I really don't want to critique it! Though looking closer, I might add that white whisker over his right eye, as I know the way the eye whiskers have an overall affect on my own cat's expressions. Yeah, even just one white whisker ;D

What type of colored pencils do you use?

06-01-2010, 11:34 PM
I used Prismacolor pencils, a colorless blender, a kneaded eraser and an electric eraser.

06-02-2010, 12:58 AM
Thanks. I think I might actually have Prismacolor pencils around :)

06-02-2010, 02:45 AM
Hey! Cooper looks just like me.

06-03-2010, 09:08 AM
A great portrait. A few things that might help. i have numbered them on the image for clarity and just my thoughts. 1.. A little too much red although a great idea. Without the reference photo to look at it looks like there is something wrong with his ear. 2 a slight variation on the shape of the white and that spot there is one of the important points for recognition. in fact both sides are too uniform 3 the transition from the body to the cheek is too contrasting and sudden. 4 that bit there needs to come out and down. 5. The mouth is a bit pursed and the bit above it is too defined. i realise it is like that on the photo but that is the first thing that jumped out, 6 i would disregard the tones in the photo and just make the chest look right. 7. although this bit is not in the photo i think it would slant back more. 8 the left cheek is pinched in and also the black to white transition is a bit sudden and defined. anyway i hope that helps. vic

06-03-2010, 10:35 AM
Very nice work. You made Cooper very handsome. All of this great work in pencil. Wow.

06-03-2010, 12:52 PM
Well this is just magnificent technique and RA has delivered a thoughtful and detailed critique which seems unarguable. I would not have posted except you say you want a painterly look to your work. I don't think you have it at all. What you've got is a meticulous and beautiful job of transferring the reference. This may be exactly what your client wants and in that regard, you've hit a homer but painterly? I'm not too familiar with colored pencil. The best practitioners seem to excel in detail, as you have done. Moving to pastel would permit a much broader treatment. But for some thoughts as to how this could become more painterly regardless of medium:
Change the colors: blues in the shadows, more roses and yellows in the highlights. Let these colors be evident.
Your edges are sharper than in the photo. Blur and soften heavily once you're past the head. Lose edges around one of the ears, and on the collar charm.

06-09-2010, 12:44 AM
Thank you all for taking the time to look deeply and critique. Vic, I see everything you pointed out and agree with you on most of them. Sloth, thanks for reminding me exactly what painterly means. On a portrait I should stick to the details. Thanks again!

06-09-2010, 03:21 AM
Mary -- He looks beautiful! I think the warmth in this really shines through, and I know that the client is going to be MORE than satisfied :)

Excellent pencil work :)

06-09-2010, 01:38 PM
Thank you, Stef. She was pleased with it.

06-09-2010, 02:06 PM
Fine crits from the gang! I especially learned something from the 'Sloth' and 'RA' I like this work because I also have one of these black and white cats. They are special. Even though they occur in all breeds they should have a class of their own. Invariably they are laid back and sweet in nature, with a bit of reserve and elegance still. Mine is about 18 years old, losing eyesight and without teeth but she still sleeps and eats well. (sounds like me) Perhaps I have gotten too chatty for this comment to float........

06-10-2010, 10:53 PM
Not too chatty at all, Corby! I grew up with all kinds of "farm" cats. My daughter has allergies so I have no kitties now, but I get to love all of them at the animal hospital where I work. It's a rewarding job.