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.

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.

May newsletter: pastel pitfalls to avoid

The next newsletter at the end of May provides a list of five pitfalls to avoid, and of course, money to be saved by not buying the tools that just don’t work.

In addition, I have added a new OOAK (one-of-a-kind) acrylic painting, Summer Breeze, to my collection and it will be offered first to subscribers. It would make a lovely Father's Day gift.

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.

And why not add your favourite supplies to mine in the upcoming newsletter?

If you do not receive my monthly newsletter, click here to quickly subscribe and receive monthly news from my art room.

Requests for pet portraits

Some clients ask for colourful pet portraits. Coco is an example of this type of painting.

Custom pet portrait of Yorkie by Louise's ARTiculations
Coco, the Yorkie.


Others want realistic portraits like Nala, Kiwi, Phlox, or Lady.

All are acrylic portraits.

As I prefer variety in my art practice, I would like to offer my clients more choice and more price points. So for now, that is a goal towards which I am working.

Can you tell that I am a bit of a rebel?

I am going against the thinking in the art world that an artist should have one defined "style" and instead, I am developing several "styles". I decided some time ago that I would stop worrying about elusive style. Style might be overrated but that is the subject of another lengthy blog post...

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? What are your thoughts on style in art?

Leave a comment below. Have a great week!





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! 😉

I’d love to hear what you have to say...