Lola, a first pastel pet portrait.

Pastel pet portrait by Louise's ARTiculations
Lola, pet portrait in pastels.  (9 x 12)


Thank you to an Instagram follower who proposed Lola as a name for this cat. A special thank you to my followers for your excellent suggestions. (First published in May, 2019 and revised today).

Although I have painted with soft pastels before, (my latest in March of this year) I have never painted an animal. Lola is the first attempt and as you can tell, I need more practice.

Friends and followers on Facebook and Instagram know that I have recently tried new products in order to get better results out of my soft pastels.

premium sanded pastel paper
Sanded pastel paper makes all the difference in the outcome of the portrait.

Pastel pitfalls to avoid.

If you have attempted soft pastels, you probably know that simple tools greatly affect the outcome of a pastel portrait.

For the longest time, I have been using one type of paper exclusively. I became increasingly frustrated that my Canson Mi-Teintes was not allowing me to use various mediums and was in fact, preventing me from applying more layers of pastel.

So that was my first research: find better paper.

Next, I needed a good pencil sharpener. Those two finds made such a difference in the pastel portraits and the effects I am able to achieve.

Requests for pet portraits

Some clients prefer colourful, expressive pet portraits. Axl is an example of this type of painting.

Axl, Wheaten Terrier portrait by Louise Primeau, pet portrait artist
Axl, Wheaten Terrier


Others want traditional type portraits like Kiwi, Phlox, Lady, Mischa, and Elli.

All are acrylic portraits.

A few days ago, I completed Sunny, a watercolour pet portrait and then softened the portrait in apps.

Then, I painted a second watercolour pet portrait. Here is the original…

Bowzer, original pet portrait watercolour painting
Bowzer, watercolour pet portrait, approx. 5x7 - only for practice.


And here is the softened portrait.

Bowzer, pet portrait digitally softened
Bowzer, pet portrait digitally softened


Bowzer is my second watercolour pet portrait.

Which version do you prefer? The original watercolour? Or the one I softened in apps? 

Do you have any tips for soft pastel use in art? What are your favourite mediums in art? Leave your suggestions in the comment box below.





2 Responses

  • I honestly can’t decide which Bowzer I like better. I was going to say the softened one, but I think I like the original watercolour equally.
    I think it is good to be able to adapt to painting in different styles. As you say, you can offer the clients more choice, especially when painting pet portraits, as personal preference varies so considerably.
    Lola is beautiful! I love the colours you have used. The purple background and the green of the eyes go so well together.

    • Thanks Christine. I hope these experiments with pastels and with watercolour pet portraits will be pleasing so that I can offer choices. I haven’t found anyone out there yet who does this type of thing, that is, different mediums and different styles of portraits. Surely I can’t be the only one, but if I am, then maybe others will eventually join me, and rather than being a rebel, I will be a trendsetter! 😉

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