13.6.19

Goat Pastel Portrait


Flower The Goat step by step portrait.

Turning the corner of winter, March was time to shake off the winter blues and dust-off 22 pet portraits to showcase SMILES at the reading room of the newly renovated Musquodoboit Harbour Library. Also on May 27th in the community workroom, I demonstrated the unique qualities of pastel, starring a goat named Flower Bud.



Pet Portraits at The Musquodoboit Harbour Library March 2019
Pet Portraits by Minaz Jantz
Musquodoboit Harbour Library Reading Section March to May
I got a call from an artist friend at the end of February and she was wondering if I would like to set up an art show for three months at the newly renovated Musquodoboit Harbour Library. It was impromptu but luckily I had many display frames to pop in the artworks. I was told it was a success as the people who came into the library did have smiles and told stories of their own pets to the librarians.

In conjunction with the pet portrait art show, on May 27th in the library workroom, I demonstrated the many attributes of using pastel as a medium. We got to play with pigments and have a wonderful afternoon with tea, coffee, and my homemade lemon bundt cake... that was popular! 

Ohh for BLEAT sakes 
get on with the goat portrait!



Draw & trace goat portrait.

A friend posted a photo of a farm visit where I saw the crooked smile of this goat that was pure humor. I asked her permission to one day use it for a portrait.

First thing I do before painting the portrait is to study the photo and ask the spirit of the animal to come forth... then decide how to compose it on the paper. I draw it to the finished size and make a few color & value notes. 

The first painting step is using an underpainting using alcohol on UART paper. This will set the stage for layers of pastel to build up textures. 


Underpainting of goat portrait with pan pastel & alcohol.


Getting the drawing right from the start allows for an easier flow the pastel layers. The underpainting is often started using Pan Pastels as the above photo indicates. Pan Pastel colours are stored in their value range for easier and a quick blocking in the color shapes. I like to use the handy Sofft Tools that look like mini spatulas with removable foam tips as seen in the above photo. I will take off the foam tips after use and give them a rinse with dish soap and let them dry for the next session. They do not last forever especially when using them on pastel sandpaper but they are not so expensive to replace the worn out tips.



It is known that values do all the work while color gets all the credit! 



Blocking in color with Pan Pastel & Alcohol

The above photo shows how the alcohol painting over the Pan Pastel stains & soaks the pigments into the UART 400 gm sandpaper paper. This stage is called BLOCKING in shapes. 


Pan Pastel with alcohol & brush to block in basic underpainting.
Pan Pastel with alcohol & brush to block in basic underpainting
that has stained the UART paper
 and can not be removed nor will it mix into subsequent layers of pastel.



The reason for wetting the Pan Pastel with alcohol is to seal the color while none of it will lift into the subsequent pastel layers. This results in color speckling throughout the layers creating atmosphere and vibrancy.


Building layers of pastel over underpainting.

The underpainting dries quickly and now it is pastel stick time with quick jotting lines over and over with various colors building up texture and form. 

Chunky soft pastels are marked over the underpainting creating texture.
Chunky soft pastels are marked over the underpainting creating texture.

Some brands of pastels allow for a chunky build-up of layers. The best brands I have used to get the textures are Sennielier, Dianne Townsand, Terry Ludwig, Unison, Schmincke, and Mount Vision. Each brand has it's own unique mark-making on the surface so no two are alike and why pastelist usually never have enough pastels!


More layers of pastel creating shape and textures.

I like to take time to study how the hair moves along the body indicating the form underneath. The mouth in this portrait is a strong focus feature and must get that right!  I hope to capture the humor.

Starting out I will work around one area like the face of the goat and then jump around the composition building it up little by little. 


So far I am pleased with Flower the goat and like how the colors are playing off each other


Creating earth textures and framing goat with branches.

The bright yellow-orange background really pops the blues and purples of the goat. Next is to bring a sense of place for our farm critters and an atmosphere that involves shade, breezy leaves and a sunny day!


Nearing the end of completion and need to develop the earth the critters are standing.
Nearing the end of completion and need to develop the earth the critters are standing.
Using various red and blue purples over the orange-yellow gives a shaded ambiance.


Thinking dirt texture, I get an idea to literally crush soft pastel into the sandpaper. Various shades of purple colors over the yellow underpainting brings the earth under the feet of my farm critters.



Last layers of pastel for painting pet portrait.


I love how soft pastel give me the opportunity to slowly sneak up on art-making. I do not have to rush as it never needs to dry. It is a forgiving medium with the right paper such as the sandpaper brand like UART. I use an old stiff brush to flick any mistakes just like an eraser and can start over.


Close-up of horns, eyes and face of pastel pet portrait.

Some portrait artists like to do the eyes first before moving onto the rest of the animal but I like to only hint at the eye with some shape and color at the beginning and leave the finishing of the eye to the very end. The very important WHITE DOT spot on the eyes brings a life force out of the portrait every time!


Complete the chicken & add wild flowers & grasses.

The chicken was fun and quick with a few dashes of color pastels to get those feathers. Since the goat is named Flower Bud, I want to add wild grasses and flowers to complete the happy farm scene.

Flower the Goat & her Chicken Pal Chicketa by Minaz Jantz
Flower Bud the Goat & her Chicken Pal Chicketa by Minaz Jantz
Pastel in UART 400gr Sandpaper
10.50" w x 12.00"h

What a blast to do this portrait of Flower Bud the Goat and her Chicken Pal Chicketa! 

TADA... here is the finished BLEATING portrait!

See you clucking and bleating at the farm! Minaz

No comments :

Back to Top