This was a commission for a cross Collie Labrador, which was a deep chocolate black. I took photos of his portrait on the side profile and at 1/4 angle, so as not to foreshorten his nose too much. I introduced light into his fur with some deep alizarin crimson, rusty browns and a hint of blue in the nose. I used pastel pencils with layering up of colours and kept the background simple with strokes of movement to show how the head was moving around while I was taking the photos.
It took three days to work on and the owner came round to say 'That's my Coco!' which she bought and gave me a box of chocolates off herself and Coco. I was happy to feel I had captured the look!