Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Painting a Miniature

My friend Katherine recently went to see the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of MiniaturePainters,Sculpters and Gravers. This reminded me that I had some Ivorine put to one side, so I decided it was time to have a go at my own miniature.
Ivorine is a manufactured imitation ivory with a white translucent surface. It is totally smooth and very easy to work on.
I wanted a change from cats so decided to paint a Chipmunk that I photographed in the Mount Ranier National Park whilst on holiday.
I think it's a Least Chipmunk but please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
I decided to use acrylics on the Ivorine and I'm using 4/0 to 10/0 brushes.

If you are interested the only place that I know to purchase Ivorine is from Polymers Plus, they are very helpful and have an excellent mail order service.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Book Review, Drawing from Line to Life by Mike Sibley

The Big Draw 2007 has been launched and during October over 1300 Big Draw events will take place throughout the UK.
In conjunction with the official events, Katherine Tyrrell has a new project on her blog which will run throughout October, The Big Drawing Book Review. (Just to make it clear, this project was initiated by Katherine and is not linked to the Big Draw in a formal way.)

Now I'm a bit of a bookaholic, I absolutely love books, so I'm going to try to review one of my drawing books each week during October.

I have to start with my absolute favourite 'Drawing from Line to Life'.
This book is a complete guide to drawing realism in graphite.
It covers materials, methods, techniques and three complete demonstrations, all by professional graphite artist Mike Sibley.
It is divided into 24 chapters which start with, From Line to Life Explained and end with, Putting it all Together.
In between are chapters on techniques such as Blending and Layering, Indenting, Negetive Drawing and Erasing Techniques.
Chapters on drawing various elements such as Ellipses, Textures, Reflections, Foliage, Hair and Features.
There are also three full length demonstrations, Charlotte (little girl), Clarrie (cat) and one featuring a puppy and many other elements from earlier in the book.

This is a large book with 625 illustrations in more than 280 pages, the printing is crisp and clear and the binding means that the book will open flat if you want to refer to it whilst drawing.
I absolutely love this book, but then I am an animal artist who loves to use graphite.
The simple step by step approach yet diverse information make it equally appealing to both the beginner and more advanced artist.
The book only covers graphite and will suit artists who like total control and to produce a high degree of realism in their work, it does not cover a more painterly approach to drawing. Also many of the illustrations are of dogs, or parts of dogs because that is what Mike draws, so there is less in the way of humans.
It is also quite expensive at £35.00, but everyone I know who has bought it, has been absolutely delighted and felt that it has improved their drawing. I know it has improved mine.
Katherine has devised a rating system, I have no hesitation in awarding this book 5 pencils:-
5 pencils - go out and buy this book right now if you have the money. In your opinion, an essential book for anybody seriously interested in drawing and/or learning more about drawing.


I have spent most of today tidying up my website. I was helped in this by my good friend and fellow artist Katherine Tyrrell, in fact Katherine had most of the ideas and did a lot of the work.
If you haven't already visited Katherine's blog then I suggest you go and have a browse, I can guarantee you will find something to interest you.

I also took time to scan Shred so that you can see I have been doing a little work.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Spotty Dog

The Society of Feline Artists Exhibition was a success for me, as well as 'Out of Sight', 'Cat Nap' also sold. I will miss them both, although I'm obviously pleased they sold.

I have attended another Mike Sibley workshop, this time we were tackling drawing fur, long, short, curly and in my case spotty. I completed this using mainly HB and 2B pencils.
I really enjoy drawing in graphite and it was a nice change to draw a dog for a change.