Selecting a Medium
Selecting the right medium for your pet portrait is purely a matter of personal taste. The following descriptions are here to guide you in your decision. Please note that whichever medium you choose, your portrait should not be hung in direct or reflected sunlight, as this will cause the artwork to fade with time. If you have any questions about which medium would be best for your portrait, please contact me and I'll be happy to advise you.
Graphite pencils have cores made from powdered graphite (not lead) fired with different amounts of clay to vary the hardness. They leave a small, smooth particle on the paper that has a slight sheen. Graphite pencils allow for very fine detail and excel where a strong, detailed portrait is desired. Although a fixative will be applied to reduce the chance of smearing, graphite portraits must not be touched or rolled, as this will cause the picture to smudge.
Pastels are ground pigment mixed with chalk and gum, then shaped into drawing sticks. Pastels cannot be mixed on a palette like paints, but are mixed on the paper by overlaying or blending. Pastels easily allow for a soft, fluffy texture and, like graphite, excel where a detailed portrait is desired. Although a fixative will be applied to reduce the chance of smearing, pastel portraits must not be touched or rolled, as this will cause the picture to smudge.
Watercolor paints are made from pigments (colors) mixed with a water soluble binding, such as gum arabic. Watercolors allow for a generally softer appearance and excel where subtlety and smoothness in the shading is desired.
Acrylic paints are made with a synthetic resin medium (liquid) to bind the pigment (color), rather than natural oils (such as linseed) used in oil paints. This gives them the advantage over oils of a faster drying time and water solubility. Acrylics easily allow for a range of appearances, from fluffy to smooth, and excel where more definition than watercolors is desired.