A Dog Portrait in Pencil

Pet Portrait of Nala by artist Simon Bland

Nala. 14x11, pencil on Revere Silk printmaking paper (warm white). 2017

My wife gifted this to her boss's boss on his retirement. As it was done in secret I had to work from some fairly stinky photos, but I managed to piece them together just enough to get it done.

It was the first time I've Revere paper for a drawing. I found it at the local art store and liked the feel of it. The smooth vellum surface is softer than my usual Fabriano Hot Press and it's more absorbent.

I worked very gently to avoid damaging the surface of the paper. Because of that the pencil marks have almost no silvery glare.

An interesting property of the vellum paper is the slight surface texture. It's helpful for creating portraits as it tends to soften the pencil strokes. In areas with light shading, such as behind the head, it creates a distinct pattern in the pencil marks—almost like it had been stippled with a sponge.


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