Sunday, December 27, 2020

Painted Portrait of a Maltese Yorkshire Terrier mix (Morkie) using soft pastels

A few months ago, I was contacted to created a portrait to be given as a Christmas gift. Many photos were sent and it wasn't hard to pinpoint which one would bring out the best of Charley the Morkie...turns out she is a natural poser in front of the camera! 

I wanted to show the progression of a portrait, along with the original photo, so folks can view the steps involved in creating a custom portrait. You can see the original reference image was perfect except for the distracting backdrop which was omitted on the actual portrait.

Cropped client photo.

Outline sketch of the dog using white pencil.

After the eyes are done I begin the fur details.

More beautiful fur is added and her ears are finished.

Beginning the body fur...using pastel pencils for fine details.

Adding more and more fur and refining texture.

Once the dark backdrop has been added the dog seems to pop!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Peek-A-Boo! Raccoons Wildlife Art

Newest piece fresh off the easel!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Howling gray timber wolf painting using soft pastels on Uart sanded paper

I was absolutely thrilled when I was asked by one of my wildlife art collectors to paint a wolf portrait for them. They wanted a second portrait to match the Canada Lynx portrait they previously acquired from me and I thought a wolf would be an excellent subject to accompany the feline art piece. This particular composition I created with some artistic creativity and about four different reference images. I think my favorite part of painting this piece was when I added the mist created by the wolf's warm breath.

I really do have to paint more wolves as they have to be my absolute favorite wild animal. And who doesn't like to hear their haunting howls?

"Northern Serenade"-Gray Timber Wolf
soft pastels on UArt sanded paper
7" x 7"

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Realistic Registered German Shepherd Dog (Nickel Basin Kennels) Pet Portrait Pastel Painting

I haven't been updating my art blog for a while so figured during this slowed economic/covid pandemic period would be good time to resume.
This German Sepherd portrait was started a while back and took many tedious hours to complete. The multiple layering of fur texture, color and "ticking" was a long process and I had to use over a dozen different hues to create Gala's lucious coat.
Gala is a breeding bitch owned by Nickel Basin Registered Kennels and has recently had a litter of beautiful pups. I love her registered name "Lady Gaga Topolovnicka", which suits her well.

I decided to show the work in progress stages of this painting below the main pose. I hope you enjoy seeing the process. 

You can also follow my work on my FB page at

Lady Gaga Topolovnicka aka "Gala"
soft pastels on archival suede panel
Private Commission

Progression of the german shepherd dog painting (work in progress):

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Ready to hang canvas loon prints original art

READY TO HANG CANVAS PRINTS!!! From brand new original pastel paintings of "Sentinel In The Mist" and "Riding First Class". Sorry but both originals SOLD.

Prices as follows:
Message me if interested as I will be placing another order soon!

"Riding First Class" 10"x20" pastels (SOLD)

"Sentinel In The Mist" 10"x20" pastels (SOLD)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Landscape in pastels

I have been enjoying creating quite a few landscapes recently; they provide me with much needed artistic freedom. Despite basing my work on my photographic references, I am able to add my own creative touches without having to be a slave to the reference. This can be liberating at times, since my commissioned pet portrait work needs to bear impeccable resemblance to the subject.

I might add that these landscape pieces sell quite easily and often within hours of posting online. So I'm quite stoked that people want to enjoy them in their homes as much as I enjoyed envisioning and creating them.

To all my clients, I thank you for your support and encouragement!

"Whitson Sunset"
soft pastels on archival paper

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Cat pet portrait work in progress (pastel painting)

Several months ago, I was asked to create a head and neck portrait of this beautiful cat to be given as an early Christmas present to my client's sister.  Like always, when I work on my commissions, I take progression photos which I send to the client for review and feedback. This not only gives the client an opportunity to provide input but also allows them to view the creation process as the subject slowly but surely comes to life in front of their eyes. On occasion, the client may change their mind about a particular aspect (such as a collar or tag for example) and as long as the work is not so far advanced and impossible to change, I am able to fulfill the request.

So, I thought that it would be nice to share the step by step process of how this kitty came to life on paper. Unfortunately, I had to work rather quickly because of the Christmas rush and so I did not take as many progress shots as I usually do.

This first image is a high resolution scan of the actual completed artwork. I manually adjust for color, tone and value using Photoshop and then add a watermark for id purposes. I try to match the original as close as possible but there is always some slight variation due to individual monitor settings and light conditions.


The following images were taken under my work lamp using my cell phone. I don't scan the art as I'm working on it as this is mostly unnecessary and takes up valuable work time. On occasion, I might scan the art when it is further advanced; for example, if the client needs to compare eye or coat color to the actual subject so that it is portrayed as accurately as possible.
Step 1
Step 2

Step 3

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Art in Camera - Celebrating Ontario Artists | Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Last spring, I was invited by Artists on Elgin to submit artwork for consideration to be part of a six month long exhibit at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario "In Camera" dinning room.  My piece "Contemplation" was accepted along with nine other works from local northern artists. As the exhibit was rolling to an end in December 2018, I was contacted by a private client who expressed interest in purchasing the feline drawing.

What a pleasant surprise when I learned today that the sale was finalized and my artwork has found its forever home!

"Contemplation" has won several awards, namely,  Best of Show and People's Choice at Cavalcade of Colours Show, 1st place Drawing at La Cloche Juried Art Show and The People's Choice Award at the SAC Exhibit. It was also part of my "Drawn to Nature" 2017 solo exhibit at Artists on Elgin. You can view a video of the exhibit on my youtube channel here:

Black/white cat drawing
Charcoal, graphite and cp

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Artists for Conservation Award November 2018 Colette Theriault

So much news...where to start? I guess I should begin with the fact that I'm greatly honored to be the recipient of the Artists for Conservation Foundation's monthly conservation award for November 2018. The AFC's Conservation Artist Award is awarded monthly to honour an AFC member for  their outstanding artistic talent and extraordinary contribution to the conservation cause. At the end of each year, a past recipient of the monthly honour then has the opportunity to be considered for the annual Simon Combes Conservation Award.
Read more here:

More news to come in this week's posts so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dalmatian custom pet portrait commission (pastel painting)

I was asked to create a memorial portrait of my client's beloved Dexter as a special present for their. daughter.  I am told she had a special bond with him and they would love to surprise her with a professional portrait of him. Dexter had a goofy and lovable personality which prompted the family to get a second Dalmatian; both are very special!

Sometimes, when a dog has passed on, it can be a challenge to find good quality photos to work from. As professional artists, it is our job to render our subjects as accurately as possible so on occasion, we must use additional reference images to guide us with the details. In this instance, the photo that was to be used for the pose was not very good for several reasons. Firstly, the dog was photographed using a flash which leads to the white fur being over exposed and also resulting in glowing eyes. Important detail is lost and the subject looks flat because of lack of shadows. The second issue with the reference photo is that it is not in focus, so again, important detail is lost. Lastly, the photo was taken too far away so one has to crop the image to show only the head/shoulders which increases digital pixelation and further reducing detail. I really prefer suitable photos as it makes my job so much easier but alas, not all is lost, and here's the proof!

The client is very happy with the results of their portrait!

Dalmatian Portrait
Soft Pastels
Commission (sold)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

French Bulldog Memorial Portrait (Pet Commissions)

When I was asked to create a portrait of this sweet little Frenchie named Yoda, I instantly thought that he was much more handsome than the actual "Star Wars" character. Those enormous bat-like ears surely must have been the reasoning behind his name...nonetheless, I love those too!

This portrait was done using soft pastel sticks and pencils on a beige toned archival suede panel. I just love the softness that can be achieved with this support, and how I was able to portray the dog's short velvety coat. The owner was quite pleased with the final result and I will have the pleasure to draw their two gorgeous Savannah cats in the future!

French Bulldog Portrait
Soft pastels

Monday, October 1, 2018

French bulldog (Frenchie) custom pet portrait from photo

I have been working on this dog portrait for a fair bit now and I will soon be adding the backdrop once the feet are done. I love using soft pastels on this velour panel because I can achieve the softness of the fur quite nicely. I hope you will keep on following to see how this little fella turned out!

More work on my facebook page and website

Friday, June 1, 2018

Commissioned Chihuahua dog portrait using pastels

When I was asked to create this portrait to commemorate Brembo the Mexican Chihuahua, it was easy to choose which photo I was to work from.  Although the eyes looked darker and the background was busy, everything else about the pose was simply just perfect!

You can see the progression of this portrait on my FB page Animal Artistry Portraits and I am hoping to create a video as well and post to my YouTube channel in the not too distant future.

 In the meantime, I have many personal projects I want to work on but have been getting a steady stream of clients so the paying work has to come first. I enjoy every bit of it and would not want to be doing anything other than painting and drawing except perhaps spending time playing in the gardens. Summer is so short, we have to take advantage of the warm sunny days when they occur.

Stay warm and don't forget to take some time to smell the roses!

Blonde Chihuahua
soft pastels
Commission (Sold)

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Bird Painting by Colette Theriault at Artsist for Conservation Nature in Art Exhibit!!!

I'm SO THRILLED to announce that my work has been chosen to be part of the prestigious Artists for Conservation Nature in Art International exhibit, taking place in Vancouver, BC at the end of August 2018!!!!!
My drawing "Curlicue" which was part of my Drawn to Nature solo exhibit last April will be shipped to BC for the Festival, with a possibility of an international tour (China, USA, Canada)!!!! This is also in conjunction with the International Ornithological Congress...I have 2 special avian artwork pieces that will be part of a giant mural featuring the world's endangered bird species.

charcoal drawing

Friday, May 4, 2018

Golden Retriever pet portrait pastel painting commission

I was asked to create this portrait of a handsome golden retriever named Chester for Father's Day.  I had an older photo of the dog in his younger years, laying on the grass and so the client chose to use that one (along with a few modifications to the chest) for the pose. As the dog aged, his colors intensified and so that too was adjusted on the portrait (the chest was white and his face quite pale) with redder tones.
It was such a joy to render this happy rendition of a most cherished family pet. What a beautiful memory to h ave Chester smiling back at you with his gentle eyes.

For more examples of my work, to order your very own pet portrait or to follow my artistic journey, hop on to my website or FB page.    and

pastel painting