Goat Pastel Portrait

Flower The Goat step by step portrait.

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.

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 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 and 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.

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 her visit to a farm and when I saw the crooked smile of this goat, I asked her permission to one day use it for a portrait.

First thing I do is 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 alcohol underpainting on UART paper to build up a pet portrait of Flower the goat and her chicken pal Chicketa.  

Underpainting of goat portrait with pan pastel & alcohol.

Getting the drawing right from the start is to not worry about correcting on the final pastel paper and easier to focus on the fun part of layering with pastels. 

The underpainting is often started using Pan Pastels as the above photo indicates. Pan Pastel are stored in their value ranges for easy value planning and a quick to blocking in color shapes with their handy Sofft Tools that look like mini spatulas with removable foam tips as seen on the above photo. I will also take off the foam tips and give them a dish soap rinse and let them dry for the next session. They do not last forever especially when using them on sandpaper but not so expensive to replace worn out tips.

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

With animals portraits, I 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.

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.

Pastels allow for chunky layers if using the soft pastels like Sennielier, Dianne Townsand, Terry Ludwig, Unison, Mount Vision, etc. as these are just a few brands I mix together with each one its own color and unique mark making on the surface.

More layers of pastel creating shape and textures.

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

I am pleased with Flower the goat so far 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.

Roughly I get an idea to crush in various shades of purple colors over the yellows bringing the grounding earth under the feet of my farm critters.

Last layers of pastel for painting pet portrait.

Pastel allows the ability to sneak up on art-making, no having to rush as it never needs to dry. Can come back to it and add or if need be can flick off pastel and start again. It is a forgiving medium with the right paper like UART sandpaper. If I want to correct an area, I use an old stiff brush and flick the pastel away like an eraser and start over.

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

Some portrait artists do the eyes FIRST before moving onto the rest of the animal. I like to hint at the eye with some shape and color at the beginning and at the very end, I add the very important WHITE DOT spot on the eyes to bring a life force out of the art 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 I want to add a little corner of wild grasses and flowers to complete the happy scene.

Flower the Goat & her Chicken Pal Chicketa by Minaz Jantz
Flower 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 the Goat and her Chicken Pal Chicketa! Above is the TADA finished BLEATING portrait!

See you clucking and bleating at the farm! Minaz

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