HORSE'S HEAD IN PASTEL by CATHERINE DUNN
The most noticeable feature of this demonstration was the fact that Catherine obviously loves her subjects which range from horses to dogs to sheep. She kept us highly amused with the tales of her experiences all evening.
Her subject for the evening was an Arabian filly from the stable of the Emir of Quatar.
The subject was drawn first very lightly in pencil - pastel will not take over heavy graphite. The paper used was Ingres pastel paper. For the background Catherine scraped pastel into talc then rubbed the diluted pastel in with cotton wool.
The midtones were established and then the dark areas carefully following the fall of the hair. Violet was used in the shadow areas and a touch of pink added to sub-highlights. Eye detail came next and then the ridge of the brow and nose marking the highlights with white. Catherine makes use of Faber Castell and Conte pastel pencils as well as colour shapers for detailed work. Rubbers are blue-tac or Maped rubbers.
Eyes in animal portraits are perhaps the most difficult features to paint. Catherine edged the eyes first with a dark colour and then surrounded it with white. The eye socket was then shaded with a very dark grey. The highlight was put in and surrounded by deep brown with a touch of the very dark grey. A couple of dots of teal blue were put into the top of the pupil and a touch of the same colour added to the upper and lower lids. Finally the highlight was intensified with very white pastel.
Catherine told us she takes about 80 photographs of each subject and prefers to take pictures of horses in bright sunlight and dogs in shade. She picks the best dozen or so to use as references for her paintings.
The evening finished with a big round of applause to thank Catherine for a very informative and highly entertaining evening!