Friday, September 14, 2007

Neocolor and Masquepen

I had to take my son into Leeds today so decided to see what was new at the art shop. I found a couple of treasures, some Caran d'Ache Neocolor ll water soluble wax pastels and a Masquepen.

I've been wondering how to do the background on Shred, I was going to use coloured pencil and solvent but would have lost all the fine hairs that I have already drawn. Plus I find it really difficult to put the hair back in, on top of a layer of coloured pencil to which solvent has already been applied.

I have seen the Neocolours used by other Artists and they have created some great effects so I thought I'd give them a try. I only bought three colours, Terracotta, Vandyke Brown and white. I've started to put the background on Shred with Terracotta and I really like how it's working. I'm scribbling the colour on and then using an acrylic flat and water. The wax in the pencil is resisting the wash and my hairs are safe and sound. I can always add some coloured pencilo over the top if I want.

The masquepen is an applicator for applying blue masking fluid. The applicator end has a 0.5mm nib for drawing really fine lines.I'm going to experiment tomorrow and will post the results.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I was delighted to learn that 'Out of Sight' sold the day following the opening of the SOFA exhibition. Even more impressive, it sold twice. On the day following the first sale another customer also wanted to buy it, so the gallery asked if I would be prepared to do another one. Of course it will not be exactly the same, but it will be quite a challenge to do it again.

I had a stand at a local cat show on Sunday. The show was run by the Viking Cat Club and it was excellent. It was judged under FIFe rules and owners take their cats up in turn to be judged and are given a verbal critique. For an artist it was wonderful to learn the finer points of various breeds of cats.
I also sold a lot of cards, one print and had quite a lot of interest in commissions.
I intend to start a demo later this week, but for now here is Shred the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I have wanted to try suedeboard since seeing some animal portraits drawn on it, quite some time ago. I have used velour which I believed to be similar, but find it more suitable for pastels, coloured pencils seem to leave a hard scratchy line.
So when I saw some suedeboard on eBay I knew I had to try it. I got some small pieces, ACEO size in various colours.

Of course I had to try a cat. This is 2.5 x 3.5 inches on the black using mainly white coloured pencil. I like the effect but have found it quite hard to work on, I don't think I would do a larger piece.

About halfway through here.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The National Museum of Wildlife Art

After travelling through Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks we stayed in Jackson Hole. This was a place I had marked on the map because it is the home of the National Museum of Wildlife Art which is a place I had long been wanting to visit.

However Jackson itself was a really interesting place to stay, many of the shops displaying items of historical interest. One of the things I remember is that in the 1920's one of the first all women town councils was elected. I wonder why that stuck in my mind.

The town itself has antler arches made from the fallen antlers of the Elk that overwinter at the Nation Elk Refuge. The antlers are collected from the refuge each spring by the local boy scouts and auctioned off in May, apart from the ones donated to maintain the arches.
The Museum itself is just outside Jackson Hole right across the interstate from the National Elk refuge.
In the winter the refuge is home to up to 10,000 Elk , there they get supplementary feeding for two to three months before returning to the higher pastures in the spring.
The Museum is home to an internationally acclaimed collection of fine art paintings, sculpture and photography devoted to wildlife.
Have a look at the website for more information.

The 'meeters and greeters' were both very welcoming and extremely knowledgeable which made our visit even better.

The one thing that struck me on first seeing the original work of artists like Robert Bateman was the scale they work on. Bateman's Bison painting 'Chief' took up a whole wall, it was simply jaw dropping. I can honestly say that having seen it in books does not prepare you for the real thing.

There were also various examples showing preparatory work in various stages right through to the finished painting.

As well as the paintings there were several DVD's which you could sit and watch, unfortunately we didn't have time to see these.
If you are in the area and like wildlife art I can almost guarantee you would enjoy a visit.

I came home inspired, so after scanning through my photo's I am going to do a demonstration of how I will work through a painting of a chipmunk, in among all the cats of course.

Speaking of the dreaded C word, I will leave you with my latest ACEO, coloured pencil and graphite on drafting film.