Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wild about Graphite

Every now and then I get cravings, in my case not for food, but for the humble pencil.
I can just sit down with my pencil and start to create.
I mainly use a 2mm clutch pencil made by Staedtler, just occasionally changing to a 0.5mm lead for very fine detail. I mostly use a HB lead, but do add darks with a 2B, even sometimes going as far as 6B in the eye. If I use a 6B I always then go over it with a harder lead to dull the shine.

I decided I wanted to do another wild animal piece so had a look through my photographs.
This Meerkat is from one of my own images, I take many Meerkat photographs as I love their funny little faces.
We had a trip to the Zoo at weekend and the Meerkats posed for me.

My drawing is about 12 x 8 inches, on Arches Hot Press Watercolour paper. I really like Arches paper as it is smooth but can take plenty of graphite. The only slight disadvantage is that it is a touch cream coloured, which makes reproduction a little more difficult than if it was a bright white.

There is more at the bottom of the picture but it doesn't fit on my scanner.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'm in Love

It's true, Spring has arrived, the dogs are frolicking and I've fallen in love, with Ampersand Pastelbord.
Ampersand have some very interesting supports on offer and their website is well worth a visit.

Several of my fellow Fine Line artists have already used this support and liked it, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately I could not find a UK supplier so had to use the US firm Dick Blick's mail order service. I have always found their service to be excellent, but you do have to be aware that on top of postage and packing there is the added import tax to pay.

I ordered small pieces in grey, white and sand and a couple of larger pieces of white.

I am wanting to paint some wildlife pieces so I decided to use one of my own reference photographs of a cheetah. The small size will be preparation work for a larger painting at some stage.

Here are the stages in the creation of 'Aloof' size 5"x7", coloured pencil on Ampersand pastelbord.
You can use solvent such as Zest-It on the pastelbord and it gives the most brilliant colour saturation.

The great advantage of using pastelbord is that the work can be varnished and framed without the need for glass.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mother's Day Family Portrait

As it's Mother's day here in the UK we took my mum out for lunch, and then went to her house so that my son could install her new printer.

The pups came with us, so I took the opportunity of taking a family portrait while we had Zeus on hand.

Jorja wasn't all that keen on sitting with her grand children, but we did persuade her in the end.

So left to right, grandparents Zeus and Jorja, pups Rio and Roxy.

You have to forgive Zeus his ears, as he's got older they've gone straighter, and he's nine now.

The pups are six months old on Friday and they're going to their first show next weekend, that will be fun.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Quick Updates

I've been really busy this last week which is why I haven't updated my blog.

Friday was Crufts day for Juno, and although he didn't get a place we had a most enjoyable day. We did receive the photo's that he had taken after winning his class at Midland Collie Club. The copyright belongs to SN Cards but I have permission to post them. I love this photograph and happily for me, Mr Newton has given me permission to use it as a reference for a new Juno painting.
I have done a little more on two of the three cats.

First the drawing one.

Then the acrylic one.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Update on Acrylic cat and Van Gogh Tree

Well I finally did something for my Van Gogh project as February slipped into March. I did beat the deadline as I finished it at about 10.30pm on the 28/02.
Don't get too excited because I'm not sure you will see much relevance to Van Gogh in my drawing, but I will explain.
So, meet my Hawthorn inspired by Van Gogh.

So what on earth relevance does this have to the work of Van Gogh:-

1. It took me so long to generate the little enthusiasm I had to do it that I felt rather like tearing off my own ear.

2. I used marks to draw it, I appreciate these are not the much larger more defined marks that VG used, but it is a definite change from my usual style.

3. Apart from the tree it is all done from my imagination.

4. I resisted the very strong impulse to add a sitting cat, that would definitely not have been in the spirit of VG.

So there you are, the closest I will get to VG, although I have to say I do now have a great respect for his work and did in the end enjoy drawing my little scene.

My acrylic cat is moving along nicely, here are a few updates.

I might not get much painting done over the next two days, it is the British Collie Club's Championship show tomorrow and we are showing Juno, so today is preparation for tomorrow.