Hand Painted Dog Portraits

Hand painted dog portraits- asher

Hand painted dog portraiits

I always love doing hand painted dog portraits. This beautiful dog painting is of a dog called Asher. His markings made him such a unique dog portrait. With Asher’s dog portrait we went for a full body portrait. The full body is better suited then a closer up portrait. It also meant we could add his favourite toy (tennis balls) to this beautiful dog portrait.


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dog portraits

Hand painted dog portraits makes a wonderful personal gift. This beautiful boy Is for the clients wife as a birthday present. I always love when they are given as gifts. I also love to see recordings of when the hand painted dog portraits are gifted. Everyone is always just so pleased. And usually tears are shed.


So lets get started on how I create my dog portraits.

I knew that with this dog painting I wanted the white to be really white and make a massive statement. As the colouration of this beautiful pup was so important. Here is a progress show of the dog portrait. As you can see I’m working each area until it is almost finished and then moving to the next area.

Hand painted dog portraiits

Asher has a beautiful variety of short hairs on the muzzle to very long hair on the ears. When creating these pet portraits or any animal drawing fur length is very importrant. Accuracy is hugely necessary for drawings that both look realistic and also capture the character of the animal you are drawing.

I really hope you like Asher’s dog portrait. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this lovely pastel portrait.


Next up we will be talking about a custom horse portrait I made for a friend.  

If you are interested in getting your own pastel pet portrait send me a message

Big Cat Drawing -Mountain Lion

Big cat drawing- Mountain Lion

 I have been drawing this mountain lion drawing.This big cat drawing is of a mountain lion. I had no idea i would love drawing this big cat as much as i have. The variety in this cat is incredible! 

 I love drawing big cats. They are so such gorgeous animals. Big cats have various species all over the world, from the Siberian tiger which is tough and hardy in the snow to the lean cheetah the fastest animal in the world.

Here is a video demonstration of my big cat drawing this time featuring a mountain lion eye.

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For my birthday I received some Rembrandt pastel sticks which have become ridiculously useful with this mountain lion drawing. I will post the link to the pastel sticks below so you can get a set for yourself. I promise these are incredible, and even just on their own they will make your artwork better. Why will they make your artwork better? Well with these wonderful magic sticks you can layer multiple colours down at once, this allows you to create a huge number of colour combinations. Because pastel pencils come in a limited amount of colours and are rather expensive this means your colour combinations are limited also, and you use a lot of pastel which means you spend a lot more money replacing those pencils.

Fabercastell pitt pastel pencils are fantastic for detail, there pastel is relatively hard so they can create some really nice sharp lines. However because the lead is fairly hard it means its hard to get and even distribution which is why I brought the pastel sticks. In the next week I will make a video on using the sticks. But you can purchase them here.

The paper I have used for this big cat drawing is pastelmat which is my favourite. This paper works amazingly with the pastel sticks and the pastel pencils. It allows you to layer multiple colours like I had done on this big cat drawing but then layer details ontop of that. The pastelmat paper has a sanded surface which feels a bit like velvet. It is a bit on the pricey side, but I promise the money is well worth it. I am yet to find a paper that is even close to this paper

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Big Cat drawing tips

Drawing big cats can be tricky. But with the right knowledge they become a lot easier.

Big cat drawing tip#1

Big cats have incredible bone structure for their skulls. Pay really close attention to the fur direction. Fur direction along with accurate fur length can make or break a drawing.

Big cat drawing tip#2

Add a variety of colours to the coat. Variety is incredibly important, also don’t think one side has to be exactly the same as the other side. If you look at your own eyes you will notice your iris’ are not the same. They have patches of colour in different areas. Lot sof different tones and values.

Big cat drawing tip#3

Don’t forget the messy hair. Hair falls out, becomes bent, goes out of place, clumps together, fizzes, overlaps. Don’t forget to add this to your drawing in multiple areas. This will add real dimension to your big cat drawing. A lions mane for example some hair is straight, others clump, others go frizzy and zigzag or curl. Incorporate this uniqueness and I promise it will bring it to life that little bit more.

French Bulldog Painting

french bulldog painting

I always love working on dog portraits and this French bulldog painting was no different. For a long time I have really wanted to work on a dog that had lots of wrinkles. No one has yet to have a commission of any of the wrinkly dog breeds. So I wanted to see how I could handle the wrinkles. What I found was that I absolutely loved working on this French bulldog painting.

I was working on mi-teintes  paper which is a pastel paper. It is rather textured, almost with a gritty texture. The paper worked extremely well for this drawing however for another French bulldog which had white colouration the paper was a total nightmare. It was just a constant fight to get enough white on the paper as a base. It goes to show it takes a couple of drawings to find out if you really like a paper.

Since this drawing I have switched papers once again onto pastelmat. Pastelmat is more like a velvet texture.

So back to my French bulldog painting. This puppy was lovely to work on. I was able to get really nice details with the fur. The colouration of this pup is called Blue. With this being in mind, I wanted to add a blueish ting too the painting. Adding these subtle colours give the work a lot more depth and interest.



I really hope you like my French Bulldog painting. He is one of my favourites. He is also available to purchase from the link below. 

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If you like my work and would like to donate a small sum of money you can do so here. 

Bald Eagle Drawing

This bald eagle drawing is one of my favourite drawings, I really wanted to challenge myself to working on wings, and individual feathers. I chose the wings outstretched as it told a story. The eagle landing, is it landing on its nest? Or is it hunting? What is it hunting rabbits, groundhog? I let you as the viewer decide the bald eagles story for yourself.


bald eagle fine art print

Bald eagles are one of my favourite birds of prey. Once I moved to Canada I saw them regularly. They are extremely large, and give off a very heavy view to them. Yet watching them fly is beautiful. They are not streamlined like the hawks and owls I was familiar with growing up in England. I think what is so lovely about the bald eagles is that they don’t mind people, they will happily nest along a busy roadside.

This is actually my second bald eagle drawing, the first sits unfinished. I chose a size too large for me at the time to handle, and the subject with a little too overwhelming for me to complete at the time I started it. So this bald eagle drawing I chose a smaller size only 11×14 inches, I also chose a new reference photo. I wanted something that had action, yet clarity. I wanted you to know part of the story but not the whole story so the viewer could chose the ending for themselves.

The bald eagle drawing was challenging to say the least. Each individual feather needed to be shaded, and layered with different colours. However this was the challenge I wanted. I wanted my bald eagle drawing to be pinnacle piece of artwork for me. And I think it was, it didn’t come out as perfect as I wanted it however I learned a lot of lessons.

Now I have started pastel painting I feel like I need to do another bald eagle. I have a large list of other animals first however. But in time I am sure I will do it again.

Here are some PRogress shots of my bald eagle drawing

I hope you all like my bald eagle drawing. Here are some cool bald eagle facts.

  • Because bald eagles have a weak call, their calls are often dubbed in Hollywood with the call of a red-tailed hawk.
  • Bald eagles belong to a scientific grouping of eagles known as sea-eagles or fish eagles.
  • Bald eagles are North American birds. Their range extends from the Mexico border through the United States and Canada. They are extremely populous in Alaska!
  • These eagles are usually found near water, on coastlines, lakes, rivers, swamps, and marshes.
  • Lifespan is around 20 years in the wild, with the oldest confirmed one having been 38 years of age. However, a captive individual in New York lived for nearly 50 years.
  • Bald eagle’s wingspan ranges from 1.8 to 2.3 meters (5.9 and 7.5 feet).
  • Surprisingly females are about 25% larger than males.
  • The name comes from an old English word, “balde,” meaning white.
  • Bald eagles can see 4 to 7 times better than humans!

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Golden Labrador Dog Portrait

A dear client who has commissioned me many times commissioned me once more to do a dog portrait of her beautiful Callaway. Callaway was an extremely loyal and special dog to my client so I knew I needed to blow this dog portrait completely out of the water. I love working on dog portraits, they each have extremely unique personalities. Golden Labradors are always fun to do dog portraits of as they have so much colours in their coat. The handsome Callaway has peaches, pinks and blues in his coat.


progress photos of the golden labrador dog portrait

I thoroughly enjoyed working on Callaway, Labs have very interesting shaped heads. They have a very domed skulls, with a fairly short wide nose. And it shows even more in a side view.

This dog portrait went relatively to plan, I wanted to make his eyes a little more curious. He has rather a grumpy face in the original photo. So I wanted to lift his brow to make him less grumpy more curious.  


Callway's dog portrait progress photos

Here you can see my progress shots Callaway’s dog portrait. As you can see I work section by section for this piece. Because Labradors have quite short hair it meant that my pencil strokes we short and thin. This allowed me to layers quite a few colours to make the hue I needed. I chose to do his nose last as I love drawing noses, so I wanted something I could look forward to complete the dog portrait.

I really hope you love Callaway, I thoroughly enjoyed working on him. His owner absolutely adored it. Here is her testimonial of the dog portrait.

"Love love the portrait of Callaway. Your work shows every bit of your passion and talent. Thanks so much for making this portrait so special for me."
progress photos of the golden labrador dog portrait
Sue Hatfield
Dog Portrait framed





Shire Horse Portrait

I fancied working on some horses for a little while. Shire horses are one of my favourite breeds which is why I chose to draw this shire horse portrait. We used to have this big black shire horse called Jess at an old riding stables I was at. She was a bit grouchy and would pin her ears at most people but she was stunning. As a young girl I was totally fascinated with her. So when I found a gorgeous black shire reference photo it was love at first sight. This shire horse portrait was a continued experiment of using the coloured pencil solvent and also the coloured pencil touch-up.


For this shire horse portrait, I really wanted to focus on the details. I loved my arabian horse portrait but it was rather zoomed out. So I wanted to focus on hair direction, whether or not I could layer the hairs ontop of one another easily.


As I got to work, I thoroughly enjoyed it, I played with layering browns, blues and greys to create the dark fur of the shire horse portrait. I think adding the browns gave it an extra dimension look. Had I have used just greys the drawing would have looked flat. I struggled a lot with smudging for this piece. Dark colours always smudge so easily, and so I found it a bit of a nightmare in that regard.


Progress shots of the shire horse portrait

I really love the whispy hair of this horse portrait. I noticed it was something I loved about the arabian horse portrait. Furthermore, I found it added that extra realism, even at a horse show some hairs are still out of place. I think that sense of unkempt makes the portrait more realistic and adds details that are important.

 Overall I am really happy with this shire horse portrait. It has definitelt laid the path for more intricate work in the future. I learned a significant amount about layering colours and how to detail more effectively.

I ended up buying glassine paper to stop the smudging and I am really happy with the difference! It works so well to stop smudging. Its actually very cheap so it didn’t break the bank and I don’t mind spending the money on something that will make my artwork better.

I hope you all like my shire horse portrait!




Arabian Horse Drawing

Arabian Horse fine art print

My Arabian horse drawing is a piece I am especially excited about. I have been horse riding since I was 6 years old. However I had loved horses long before that but on my 6th birthday I was given a certificate that said I was going to start riding lessons.  I felt and still feel I was the luckiest girl alive. It was a dream come true. Ever since my love for horses has only grown. I have decided to take a bit of a break from wildlife and focus on horses. I used to only draw horses. But felt I could not make any money from just horses. So I decided to do an Arabian horse drawing.

Arabian horses are stunning. Slight delicate faces and long flowing manes. They have a floating gate, and are very intelligent and sensitive animals. I wanted something punchy to draw so I decided on this bay Arabian horse.

My Arabian horse drawing has been a wonderful experience.  I wanted my Arabian horse drawing to show all the beautiful details in their dished faces. I feel pretty accomplished with that goal. Despite the drawing only being an 8×10 inch drawing I think it has a pleasing amount of detail.

Work in progress photos of my Arabian Horse Drawing

Here is a quick little video of me working on my Arabian horse drawing.

For my Arabian horse drawing I experimented more with Zest it pencil blender. What I found is that it made the colours more vibrant and the blacks richer.  I am really looking forward to using this product more in the future.

I hope you all love my Arabian horse drawing as much as I have enjoyed working on it. Let me know If there are any horse breeds you would like to see.

arabian horse drawing

Here are some interesting Arabian horse facts.


  • The Arabian breed is over 5,000 years old and is known as the oldest breed and the first domesticated breed of horse.
  • Arabians were originally bred in the Middle East. The Arabian horse is the oldest purebred horse in the world.
  • The Arabian was the horse the Bedouin people (nomadic people) of Arabia as early as 3000 to 2500 BC.
  • The most common coat colour of Arabians is bay. You will also see many chestnuts, grey, blacks and roans.
  • The skeleton of a pure Arabian is different from that of other horse breeds. An Arabian has 17 pairs of ribs, instead of 18 and 5 vertebrae instead of 6.
  • The average height of an Arabian is 14.1 to 15.1 hands (57 to 61 inches) tall and the average weight is 850 to 1,000 pounds.
  • The Arabian horse is considered to be the foundation of all modern horse breeds.
  • Arabians are intelligent, sensitive and courageous creatures. They are loyal if treated well and they enjoy the attention.

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Nuthatch Drawing

nuthatch drawing

When I first saw this nuthatch photo I knew I had to make a nuthatch drawing. I absolutely loved his interesting pose and expression. The tree was interesting touch, and his colours were vibrant. I adore little birds, and as nuthatches are one of my favourite birds it was only natural that I needed to draw one.

Due to working so much lately at another job, I had decided to stop the larger drawings, unfortunately I just no longer had the time to dedicate to them. So 8×10 inches it was going to be from now on. However I knew he is only a little guy so I wouldn’t lose detail or character.

I really enjoyed my nuthatch drawing, drawing a small animal is really nice because it allows you to add all the details. There is so much to see. His eyes caused me a little bit of difficulty just because they looked a bit angry which is what I wanted to change. So I was working on the highlights in the eye. Eventually I was able to get them to a stage I was happy with. I used the coloured pencil titanium white and coloured pencil touch up for this. Another item I used for this drawing was the Zest it Coloured pencil blender. I am experimenting with this and have been using it more and more. Basically it blends the colours so the white of the paper doesn’t show through. It also allows you to add more colour layers. You also paint this on with a paint brush, like the other product.

Work in progress photos of my nuthatch drawing

Another aspect I struggled with my nuthatch drawing was the tree. I definitely need a lot more practice on trees and branches. Maybe a few studies will be needed. I just fine the amount of detail needed for this one was just a bit much. Looking back I should have made the tree more manageable. And maybe I will go back and work on this drawing a little more, but until then I am calling it finished.

Here is the completed nuthatch drawing. I hope you all like it. In the future I will do a series of small bird drawings. I would love to hear some suggestions of little birds you love.

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Deer Fawn Drawing

I wanted to work on something close up. I had brought a couple of deer reference photos, the fawn seemed like a perfect opportunity. For my deer fawn drawing I wanted to really experiment. I wanted it to be as realistic as possible, but also really play with the meadow. Continuing on with my theme of adding insects. I also added some meadow flowers and some butterflies.

Some of the flowers hold a special significance. Poppies remind me of a walk I used to go on in poppy fields. The fields were where I was born in Nottingham, England. I would often walk there alone, I was fascinated with the poppies design and their milk. Another important flower is the Lupine. Lupines grow in my family’s home in New Brunswick wild. I guess you could say I put pieces of my homes into my fawn drawing.

Work in progress photos of my deer fawn drawing

I also experimented with “colour pencil touch-up texture” and “coloured pencil titanium white”. If you haven’t heard of this yet, basically its like liquid white coloured pencil. It is brushed on with a paintbrush. So why was this helpful with the deer fawn drawing? Fawns have white spots on their fur. It allows them to blend in better. So the touch up and titanium white when added together allowed me to paint these white spots in and bring back the vibrancy of pure white.

Swallowtails are another important part of this drawing. Growing up I was used to peacock butterflies. When I moved to Canada and saw my first swallowtail. I thought they were beautiful. Not only are they a beautiful colour, but I also love their shape. So naturally I had to add a couple of them in this deer fawn drawing.

deer fawn fine art print

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Friesian Horse Drawing

After completing the extremely complex grizzly bear drawing I decided to do something slightly easier. I chose to draw a Friesian because I adore them for a start. I wanted a faster drawing compared to the grizzly bear so I chose this full body Friesian horse drawing.  

Reference Photo for the Friesian Horse Drawing

The reference photos were all so majestic and gorgeous I struggled to pick one. If you don’t know I get the majority of my reference photos from https://us.fotolia.com/ .The horse in the reference had a very shiny coat which is what I wanted. I really wanted to push my boundaries. Here is a link to the reference photo that I used if you are curious. https://us.fotolia.com/id/85507491

Friesian Horse Drawing Work in Progress

friesian horse drawing wip

As I worked on the Friesian horse drawing I loved it more and more. Because it was a full body drawing, it didn’t take me long at all. I wanted a kind of freedom look, as if the viewer is watching the Friesian run freely through the meadow. Something I always find difficult is getting the lights and darks at the correct value. I think I have it slightly wrong here too, so I will be working on him a little more I think.

Something that has also changed in my drawings is that I have started adding insects and little creatures to them, just to add a little bit of extra realism. 

friesian horse fine art print

Tell me what you think to my Friesian horse drawing. LEave a comment below!

You can purchase this drawing here as a print

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Here are some interesting Friesian horse facts.

  1. Friesians are beautiful, pure black horses with a flowy mane and tail and flashy, showy movement. 
  2. They have feathered feet typical of a draft breed, but they are built like a lighter riding horse.
  3.  Friesians average between 15-17 hands high.
  4.  They are versatile enough to participate in all sports and disciplines, but are most commonly seen in dressage, or as a carriage horse due to their eye catching movement.
  5.  Friesians get their name from the land where they originated, in Friesland, The Netherlands. 
  6.  They may have been around since 1000 BC.
  7.  Despite being very popular in the early ages, Friesians almost became extinct. By 1913, there were only 3 remaining Friesian stallions in their home province of Friesland.
  8.  Being one of the oldest breeds, Friesians had an influence on several new breeds that developed as time went on. The Oldenburger, Shire horse, and smaller ponies such as Fell and Dales ponies all inherited some Friesian lines in their early development. Morgan horses are also suggested to have some Friesian blood due to their resemblance to some of the Friesian’s features.
  9.  Friesians were brought to North America by the Dutch in the 1600s, when the Dutch had control of New Amsterdam, now known as New York.
  10.  While Friesians are most commonly known to be pure black in color, in some rare cases, you may find chestnut Friesians.Chestnut Friesians are often referred to as “Fire Friesians”.

Here is a fire friesian- photo taken off google.