Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Blue Hound

I've been brute forcing a commissioned portrait so thought I'd take a break and do something a bit more fun....and here he is, the blue hound. 
He was inspired by a dog I saw in the movie Gladiator. At the beginning when the Romans are fighting the Germans the Roman General Maximus has a large, Alsation type hound that tags along with him. He only appears for a few seconds but he's a nice looking dog, this is based on him.
soft pastels on 30 X 40cm cartridge paper.

Started with hard pastels:

...then soft pastels:


This took a couple of hours. Must do more using this loose style, it's great fun.


  1. Ben,
    Great job. I once had a German Shepherd and the face you've drawn brings back great memories of her.
    And for what it's worth, please don't be offended when I say I actually like the initial stage best. They are all excellent, but there's something about the first go. It seems to have such movement and action and still so perfectly captures the face, that bright, intelligent, loyal face.
    My skill as a critic is non-existent, so please forgive the awkward attempt to express how I feel about it. I really like it.

  2. Glad you like it Gary. I know what you mean, sometimes you get to a stage when you think...that's looking good....even if it's nowhere near what you intend the picture to be, it's a dilemma, do you keep it as it is and start again with a new painting or just press on with the confidence that the finished result will be worth it?

    As of yet (in my opinion anyway) I've not completely ruined a painting after coming to one of those crossroads...I'm sure it'll happen one day though.

  3. Bow wow wow I LOVE this piece. The feeling of his character comes through so well. The colour choices are inspired. Very moody. Love the eyes especially. I haven't worked much with pastel but you are an inspiration.


  4. Thanks Ruca, it's very flattering to hear my picture called inspirational.

    Pastels are great fun..I can't get enough of them. One day I should try to discipline myself to using wet paint....maybe...