Minnesota State Fair: Belgian Draft Horse = Pastel Pencil Portrait

Dan The Belgian Draft Horse & Butch the owner of Grindstone Farms Sandstone Minnesota

This is a small portrait, which was great fun to make. The tones in the horse had me buying every brown to beige pastel pencil I could find, at the time. The title is “Proud Owner” whose name is Butch. In this drawing the weight of the horse and the beauty of the Belgian Breed comes across.  I like to include the crowd scenes sometimes in my work to add the excitement of the event!

Horses are fascinating subjects to draw. While I work from a photograph, my aim is to go beyond the flat image and share the depth of the space and time of the portrait.

Thankfully Draft Horse breeders are still active in perfecting the “great horse” for size, temperament, and work. Otherwise these magnificent giants would be gone.

The 2017 Minnesota State Fair Draft Horse competition for six horse draft and single horse cart draft was a sight to behold. Later on I will share some highlights.

Portraits in the Works – Sascha – Longhaired German Shepherd

Stage 2 Portrait of Sascha – Oil over Acrylic Paint. 2017 CKatt

Dog portraits are fun to do. This one was started with acrylic paint to rough in the painting. This photo of the second stage is where I start to lay in the oil paint color. I am using oil paint for the finished portrait.

Working with a small format canvas has its challenges. One small stroke can change the expression. Sascha has a very serious look. She is a very sweet family dog, who likes nothing better than carrying a stick in her mouth and shaking it back and forth while walking with you on her country road. This painting, from a photo her Mom took of her, reflects her serious side and her dignified bearing as her family’s protector.

Stage 3 Portrait of Sascha – Longhair German Shepherd

The lack of sunlight has made my progress very slow. I like natural light for painting, but I cannot delay any longer. Today I continue to bring out the details in the portrait of Sascha under artificial lights.  Keep on keeping on…

Sascha 2 Finished Portrait3-31-2020 CKatt

Finished Portrait of Sascha- The Long Haired German Shepherd

Portraits: British Shorthair Cat – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel © Ckatt 2017


British Shorthair with Orange Tabby © Ckatt 2017

The King Charles Spaniel is a digitally redone photo portrait, which I captured at a dog show last year. This effect give the look of a black and white block print.

The cat portraits are also digitally enhanced photos.

The British Short Hair Cat belonged to my gracious niece, Sabina, who has helped me with my online venture to share my work. His name was Toenje. A most interesting and aloof creature, who charmed me from the moment we met. He has passed over the Rainbow Bridge.

More recently, I have taken to using digital photos for my drawings and paintings.