Dog Portrait – Shetland Sheepdog in Pastel Pencil & Pastel

This artwork of Piper, a Shetland Sheepdog was a commemorative  portrait. The photo I had to work from was very distorted with pixilated smears. It took much longer than expected to intuit the missing details. I looked at other photos and asked the owner which one looked like her.  Fortunately, there was a picture that assisted me in her facial mask.

Rembrandt Pastel chalk was used for this dog portrait over a pastel pencil layout on BFK Reeves 100% rag paper. Working with pastel on a dog portrait allows a layering that gives some depth and dimension to the beautiful, luxuriant coat of Piper the Shetland Sheepdog.

Piper = Pastel Portrait © C Katt 3-7-21


Portrait of Sataya The Pudelpointer

Let me preface this post with the simple fact that I am a dog enthusiast.  It was my great joy to have owned a couple of dogs. One was a rescue and the other a Standard Poodle. I have done portraits of people and horses together and cats both domestic and pumas. I even enjoy painting fish. This is post is about a portrait of a special and rarer breed of hunting dog.

“The Pudelpointer is a versatile hunting dog breed from Germany. In 1881, a German breeder, Baron von Zedlitz, worked on producing his ideal tracking, pointing, and retrieving gun dog, suitable for work on both land and water. The Baron crossed seven poodles with various English pointers. [1][2]”  Retrieved from Wikipedia 03-13-2020

Baron von Zedlitz wanted a dog for hunting that loved the water (Poodle) with the drive and nose of a pointer. His goal was to have a dog that was good in the water and on land while hunting. A Pudelpointer can both point game and then retrieve the felled bird from water or land.

Pudel is German for Poodle. The Standard Poodle is a hunting dog that is used for waterfowl hunting. The English Pointer is used to flush birds in the field.

The Pudelpointer breed was introduced to North America in 1956 by Bodo Winterhelt who remained involved in maintaining the breed standard until his death in 2018. He founded Winterhelle Kennel where he created the foundation of the breed in North America. In 1977 Winterhelt founded the Pudelpointer Club of North America in Canada.

The Pudelpointer is not a well known breed. The breed was not registered with the American Kennel Club because the qualities of a hunting breed are more important than the conformation standards that The AKC would impose. In addition, reading about the Pudelpointer more extensively since this post lead me to discover this breed is carefully bred and managed. Breeders require that an owner be a regular dedicated hunter. The Pudelpointer is a highly active dog that needs exercise and is tireless in the field.

This portion of an article by Duncan Barnes give a good description of the Pudelpointer in action.

Not poodle, not pointer, but both dogs in one

“The gamekeeper of Nicholson Island, a private shooting preserve off the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario, was demonstrating the versatile talents of a nondescript-looking hunting dog named Komet von der Winterhelle. Staying always within gun range, Komet quartered easily through a millet field for several minutes. Suddenly he broke stride, made a sharp turn upwind and stopped short in a rigid, stylish point. As his master came up from behind, a cock pheasant burst from the grainfield and banked downwind with a frightened cackle. With Komet still on point, the gamekeeper fired and the pheasant fell heavily into the dense briar bordering the field. Komet’s master said a few words of praise, then told him to fetch. Shifting instantly from the role of pointer to that of retriever, Komet plunged into the brambles and brought the dead bird back to the man who had produced such artistry by mixing and blending canine ancestry and instincts as carefully as a chemist formulating a new, high-potency rocket fuel.” Retrieved From “Sports Illustrated” Vault: November 18, 1963

The senior dog Sataya belongs to Patty and Ed of Spokane Washington.

Here is the progression of the Sataya’s portrait so far. Many layers of pastel pencil on BFK Reeves 100% rag paper are drawn to create the many strands of hair on this fascinating and remarkable breed of hunting dog. My goal is to bring together much of Sataya’s original coat colors from older photos to her present day photo.

Portrait Progress of Sataya A Pudlepointer.

A Pudlepointer description:

About 24 inches high and weighing no more than 60 pounds. The pudelpointer has a tough, wirehair coat that is soft to the touch, a cropped tail, dark-brown eyes, silky ears that are part pointer and part hound, and a comical growth of whiskers that looks like a mustache which is called a beard.~Retrieved  and modified from “Sports Illustrated” Vault: November 18, 1963


There were many other stages of the drawing as time went on. Sataya’s owner is very pleased with the portrait of Sataya the Pointerpudel.

Portrait – Samson of Windy Ridge


Samson was a “Great Horse” or a large draft horse – a dappled Percheron. It is a very small 5″X 7″ colored pencil portrait on Bristol paper. Bristol Paper has a smooth surface that makes getting the details of Samson’s dappled color much easier.

I first met Samson when a friend and I took her daughter out to Windy Ridge Riding Stables to inquire about lessons. He was one of the few horses in the large coral area. He sauntered up to us like a friendly inspector as we were trying to get through a gate. He was enormous! My friend said, “Catherine, what do I do?” as she had her daughter in her arms.

“Be calm. He won’t hurt you.” Draft horses are generally pretty gentle with kids. And as time proved, in many later encounters, that he was a truly big, gentle guy.

This portrait was purchased by Mark Ward, the owner of the horse riding stable where I took riding lessons. He had Samson from a “baby”. Sadly Samson passed away not long after I made this portrait.


Thanks for stopping by!

Portrait Painting – Rebecca Stock – Oil Painting

This was portrait was completed a long time ago. It’s an oil painting on gessoed wood panel. I took photos of Rebecca and chose this pose for the final painting set in her parents garden in Mill Valley California.

Painting on gessoed wood gives a smoother surface than canvas. Sometimes I prefer this smooth surface for better control over the paint. I am drawn to the contrast of light and dark contrasts in my work of sunlight and rich background painting.

I have this painting.

Portrait of Baukje Abma Venema and daughter Alyson Venema

I really enjoy doing portraits of people and children, but I think this was lost in a fire. Luckily I made a record of it. This is a pastel portrait on pastel Canson paper. Alyson is all grown up now and has her own little boy.

Baukje has a long and distinguished career as a Special Education teacher, school Principal and specialist in main streaming special education students in Friesland in the Netherlands. Baukje has also been a language teacher.


Pastel and Pastel Pencil – portrait Pals at Buzzle Lake

Pals at Buzzle Lake – Ckatt 2017 A memorial Portrait Labradors

This dog portrait was done as a birthday present for a friend’s brother from their original photo. I was pleased to do this portrait and enjoyed the challenge of the swimming Labradors.

It is a pastel drawing using both pastel chalk and pencil. It was a welcomed surprise for the birthday because both dogs had passed away.

Pastel pencil/pastel portrait – Standard Poodles Hunting

Having had a Standard Poodle, whose sire was a hunting champion, I was inspired by this photo of Gary Scovel and his poodles, Beau and Scout. Poodles historically are bird dogs. I contacted him and asked permission to use the photo, which his friend took. Standard Poodles are marvelous dogs with many fine qualities. The characteristic French style cut of their hair which is seen in show poodles originates in the hunting fields of France.

The hair (not fur) on there chest and joints protects them from the brush and cold water while hunting. Historically a ribbon holds their topknot and identifies the dog in the field to the owners by the color.

This work above combines pastel chalk and pastel pencil to render this scene of pheasant hunting. the portrait was inspired after I viewed an old Dutch Master painting of dogs with their owner.

A Poodle in traditional show coat based in the French Hunting cut. Copyright CKatt 2017



Colored Pencil Portrait – The Borzoi in The Field

This was the first time I had seen Borzois at a lure coursing event in November. This beautiful Borzoi was so impressive. The colored pencil made drawing the details of the dogs coat a pleasure. I like the starkness of the landscape which frames his snowy coat. Borzois are sighthounds, who are attracted by animal movements. They are quiet and swift in the field. Lure coursing uses a mechanical, plastic lure. The lure travels through the field and the dog flies after it. This is a great activity to test the Borzoi’s hunting ability.

Pastel portrait – Jack and Remington – Rescued Golden Retrievers

I enjoyed making this pastel portrait of these two healthy and happy Labrador retrievers. They were young and wiggly! Their owners had a time keeping them quiet for the photoshoot, but they were very sweet. The portrait made the owners very happy.

Labrador Retrievers are very popular dogs in the Upper Midwest of the USA.

Finished Portrait: Maya The Chocolate Labrador Retriever

It took a week to finish the colored pencil portrait of Maya pictured here.  It is a small piece 8″ by 10″ on Bristol paper.  This is a smooth surfaced paper which works well with layering the colors.

The array of colors used in Maya's portrait
The array of colors used in Maya’s portrait

Most of the time, I use paint or pastels to create my own pieces. Using the colored pencils is a fun exercise in the use of color.

Someone stopped by my blog and commented on the drawing of Maya.  There was surprise for me when I visited this person’s blog.  There was a long post about taking drawing classes. It turned out this writer wanted to draw and paint, but suffered from terrible anxiety when it came time to start a painting class.  There were many kind responses to this post. People shared many perspectives.

I studied painting, drawing, photography, lithography, etching and learned countless crafts to teach in school settings. With each phase, there was what I called the first day of the lesson. All the unknowns would be revealed – the teacher, the students, the lessons. I wanted to learn.

In my first figure drawing class in college, my professor told me that I drew “like a barbarian”.  As I looked at the drawing he was looking at I realized he was correct.  It took two years of drawing, for four days a week, to learn to draw with expressive lines that I could control.

After studying to be an art teacher and watching students evolve in art classes, I came to believe two very important things: First that anyone who wants to can learn to make art. Second all it takes is the desire and discipline to learn with an open beginner’s mind.  That means (to me) Be there to try things out and don’t be afraid to fail.  Every learning in life takes practice.

When I learned how to make lithographic prints, I had one of the top lithographers in the country as a teacher. He was very strict. You cannot fudge a process like lithography, which takes many steps before you have a completed print. In the beginning of my two years of practicing this technique, I made every mistake in the book. It was a slow process of learning, that taught me the value of learning from my mistakes. The perspective I gained gave me a sense of humor about being human and not giving up.

This attitude has kept me going with my cooking experiments, at my blog Kunstkitchen and anything new that’s worth learning.  I tell myself , “Just show up and see what comes to you.” That’s life.

Four Stages of the portrait process of the pencil drawing of Maya the labrador Retriever

First Stage of pencil portrait of Maya © Ckatt 2-18-15
First Stage of Pencil Portrait of Maya © Ckatt 2-18-15
Second Stage of Maya's Portrait 2-19-2015
Second Stage of Maya’s Portrait 2-19-2015
Third Stage of Maya's Portrait 2-21-2015
Third Stage of Maya’s Portrait 2-21-2015
Last Stage of Maya the Chocolate Labrador Retriever's portrait by CKatt 2015
Last Stage of Maya the Chocolate Labrador Retriever’s portrait by CKatt 2015

Keep on keeping on…woof woof!