Animal Portraits in Pastels

Ive discovered the reason why I broke my leg! ( Good job too because I was beginning to wonder what the hidden meaning was)! Turns out it was so that I could create art like this.

Thumbnail from my YouTube, hence me peeping over the top!

The Goddess/Universe/God certainly does work in beautiful ways. We are always sent exactly what we need with divine timing.

Everyday, I wish I could just do art because it’s what I do best, but what with the continuous rounds of washing, cooking, cleaning, driving and generally all the jobs that my disabled adult twins require me to do to keep them ticking over, there just never seems to be the time. I do knit though. There is that but storing a neat ball of wool and a knitting loom isn’t quite the same as having art supplies sprawled all over the place.

Whilst you’re here, if you’d like to look at said knitting, here’s a link to my shop.

When I first broke my leg, I was unable to do many of my usual tasks. My son returned back to his care home and my daughter tried to take on my daily tasks. I could sit though and was able to keep up with the admin for the twins ( any parent, or caregiver, of a person with disabilities understands very well the enormous amount of paperwork involved in their care).

It was whilst I was sitting that I dug out an old painting which I had started in late 2020.

I met Len, the beautiful Boxer dog, and his lovely owner Mike, in North Devon in late 2020 when I was visiting my mum. Mike allowed me to take some photos of Len and I promised him that, should I ever get around to painting this gorgeous dog, I would send Mike a photo. Trouble is, I have his contact details in my then phone which now is so dead it won’t charge! I shall see if a phone repair shop can help me out with that one.

Anyway, when I returned from Devon I started on the pastel portrait of Len but found it very difficult to continue, but that’s a different story. You can hear all about why in my video.

Despite my soft pastels not being of the greatest quality, I finished the portrait and I was semi happy with the result. But it just felt really good to get back into painting again.

My painting of Len.

My mum’s birthday is on 1st of May and so I decided to paint her a cat. She loves cats, always has, and despite not being able to own one anymore, the nursing homes cat, Cosmo, is a regular visitor to her room.

I decided, things needed to change! And by that, I mean my art supplies. Gifting myself a set of 10 professional Panpastels was the best thing I could’ve done. The results speak for themselves!

I got the reference photo from the internet and I started it on Saturday. By Wednesday, it was finished. I worked on it everyday during that time, anywhere between 5-8 hours a day, so not bad going.

I definitely am my own worst critic as most artists are but I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I think my mum’s going to really love it. Sadly, I’m unable to hand it directly to her as, four weeks post leg break, I’m still unable to drive, but we will Skype and the nursing home staff will open it for her.

The painting measures 9 x 9 inches and its painted on Claire Fontaine pastelmat paper. I’ve used Panpastels for the underlayer and Faber Castell Pitt pencils for the fur.

I’ve opened a new Etsy shop called Heidi Hawkins Art, if anyone fancies having a look at it. There you can commission a pastel pet portrait of your own, should that take your fancy.

I’m obsessed with pet portraits at the moment ( or just any art in general, anytime actually) so feel free to link to your pages. Id love to see your art. 🤗

Have a lovely day everyone!!

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