Proportion is key and is what builds the foundation of a good portrait. I ensure proportions are accurate before laying down any colour. I strive for realism, not photorealism, which means that I aim to capture both the look and essence of the pet, while preserving the illustrative element of a pencil drawing. My portraits offer incredible likeness while still giving the impression of being a piece of 'artwork'.
Thousands of strokes go into each portrait. I start by adding a solid base colour and add mulitple layers of tiny strokes in different colours to create depth and realism. Expect upwards of 20 hours (and sometimes more!) of work going into your portrait.
I use Faber Castel Polychromos pencils. Used by many professional artists, these are the highest quality pencils of this German brand. These pencils are oil based, and do not develop the waxy layer, (often referred to as 'wax bloom') that many of the cheaper wax based coloured pencils may create. They have a harder lead which maintains the sharp point required for my highly detailed work and offer unsurpassed lightfast pigments that do not smudge and are good for archival artwork. Paper is always a smooth bristol to ensure minimal graininess in the finished portrait.