Can a critique help you improve your pet portraits?

Obviously‌ ‌I’m‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ ‌say‌ ‌YES‌ ‌-‌ ‌a ‌critique‌ of your pet portrait ‌can‌ ‌help‌ ‌you‌ ‌improve‌ ‌because‌ ‌I‌ ‌am‌ ‌an‌ ‌art‌ ‌tutor,‌ both‌ ‌private‌ ‌tuition‌ ‌and‌ ‌weekly‌ ‌classes‌ ‌and‌ ‌more‌ ‌recently‌ ‌due‌ ‌to‌ ‌Covid-19‌ ‌I‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌doing‌ online‌ ‌classes‌ ‌and‌ ‌workshops.‌ ‌(So‌ ‌much‌ ‌ ‌fun‌ ‌in‌ ‌online‌ ‌art‌ ‌classes‌ ‌right‌ ‌now!)
I‌ ‌have‌ ‌had‌ ‌critiques‌ ‌and‌ ‌tuition‌ ‌myself‌ ‌and‌ ‌know‌ ‌that‌ ‌each‌ ‌time‌ ‌I‌ ‌have‌ ‌tuition‌ ‌I have‌ ‌take‌n ‌a‌ ‌step‌ forward‌ ‌in‌ ‌my‌ ‌abilities.‌ ‌It‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌happen‌ ‌straight‌ ‌away,‌ ‌I‌ ‌need‌ ‌to‌ ‌experiment‌ ‌and‌ ‌practice‌ ‌and‌ then‌ ‌I‌ ‌see‌ ‌a‌ ‌big‌ ‌improvement.‌ ‌That‌ ‌is‌ ‌why‌ ‌I‌ ‌keep‌ ‌having‌ ‌tuition‌ ‌and‌ ‌critiques.‌ 

This is exactly how a critique of your pet portrait can help you improve:

This‌ ‌weekend,‌ ‌I‌ ‌had‌ ‌a‌ ‌lovely‌ ‌lady‌ ‌called‌ ‌Bridget‌ ‌contact‌ ‌me‌ ‌on‌ ‌Facebook.‌ ‌She’d‌ ‌seen‌ ‌my‌ ‌work‌ in‌ ‌a Facebook‌ ‌art‌ ‌group‌ ‌‌and‌ ‌liked‌ ‌my‌ ‌painting‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌labrador‌ ‌puppy.‌ ‌She‌ ‌was‌ ‌also‌ ‌painting‌ her‌ ‌own‌ ‌labrador‌ ‌puppy‌ ‌and‌ ‌wanted‌ ‌some‌ ‌advice.‌  
After‌ ‌sending‌ ‌me‌ ‌her‌ ‌work‌ ‌in‌ ‌progress‌ ‌and‌ ‌her‌ ‌reference‌ ‌photo‌ ‌I‌ ‌was‌ ‌able,‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌few‌ ‌short‌ paragraphs,‌ ‌to‌ ‌help‌ ‌her‌ ‌improve‌ ‌her‌ ‌work‌ ‌by‌ ‌telling‌ ‌her‌ ‌what‌ ‌she‌ ‌had‌ ‌done‌ ‌and‌ ‌how‌ ‌she‌ ‌could‌ improve‌ ‌it.‌ ‌Kindly,‌ ‌Bridget‌ ‌sent‌ ‌me‌ ‌the‌ ‌improvements‌ ‌she‌ ‌had‌ ‌made‌ ‌and‌ ‌voila!‌ ‌A‌ ‌really‌ wonderful‌ ‌improvement!‌ 

Here‌ ‌are‌ ‌the‌ ‌before‌ ‌and‌ ‌after‌ ‌photos:‌ 

I could see that Bridget had made a really good start on the labrador painting but she needed to go a step further.  This is what I said:

“First of all, I used velour paper which naturally lends itself to a softer look. It looks like you’re using Pastelmat. But it’s definitely possible to achieve a soft look on Pastelmat.

It looks like you’ve done the fur in sections because you can see distinct areas where the fur changes. There is nothing wrong with doing fur like that but you have to go back and connect everything up so it transitions smoothly from one area to the next. 

For softness, if we look at the ears we can see the paper underneath making the ear fur look darker than it is. You need more pastel and subtle blending with the addition of highlights. You can’t really see any individual hairs on her ear but you can on your work. Try to think that it’s not fur and something else and match the colour and tone”

 Here’s the proof that tuition can help you improve and sometimes all you need is an art critique to help you on your way. 

If you’d like a pastel art critique then get in touch with me – Sue Kerrigan-Harris.  

like to join my pastel classes online or in person (based in Marchwood, Southampton) you can email me here or phone 07740 282399. Classes are on Wednesday afternoons.

GDPR: All images used with permission