Why did I chose a hedgehog for my latest pastel artwork?

How do you decide what subject matter will make an appealing artwork? That is always the decision I have to make once I have completed a pastel artwork and wish to start on another. Commissions are easy - the subject matter is chosen for me. But art for exhibitions is another matter.....

Exhibitions and commissions Ivan Jones artist

My usual starting point for reference photos is Pinterest, followed by Pixabay, and others. The most important thing is to ensure that copyright is not breached so I aim to get permission from the photographer to allow me to interpret their image in pastel. Interpretation is the keyword - I always credit the photographer where possible, but also alter the image in ways to keep it unique to me.            

               Ivan Jones artist Pinterest hedgehog board

As you are aware I have a number of subjects that always sell including kingfishers, ducklings, woodpeckers, hares......However with the growing interest in the survival of hedgehogs in the wild and in our gardens, I thought this may be a subject to consider. 

Ivan Jones pastel artist Pinterest

And so it was that this hedgehog by Sera D ( on Flickr) became the subject for my next pastel painting. To keep this delightful creature unique to me I altered a range of things from the reference photo. The eyes on the original were too small and the background needed lifting so I used autumn colours and leaves to enhance the background while still allowing the hedgehog to take centre stage. You can see how this was done below.

Adding background on hedgehog pastel painting Ivan Jones

I also made a mistake early on and for those artists of you this may be of interest - I used white pastel straight onto a brown background and it lost it's clarity ie it became muddy. So, although I had already completed many spines, I elected to remove them, apply a new background, spray with fixative and start again. Each artwork has its challenges!

Correcting a mistake on pastel painting of hedgehog Ivan Jones

I also added a short video to my Ivan Jones Art Instagram and Facebook page and have had a great response to this.....including an offer to buy the artwork, when completed, which I accepted.

VIdeo of Hedgehog artwork in progress Ivan Jones art facebook

Very pleased to have a happy buyer but I'll just have to do another hedgehog for the exhibition in September - so you'll have the chance to own a hedgehog too if you come along. So that's it for now. Have a great day and catch up soon.... 




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