Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tiger ACEO

This is my latest ACEO, acrylic and coloured pencil on drafting film.


Comparison of Oil and Acrylic

A little while ago you might remember I painted a Chipmunk on Ivorine, I decided to list him on eBay although I'm not worried if he doesn't sell as I'm very fond of him.
I've almost got another Tiger ACEO to list, hopefully later tonight.
However I've been working on two small paintings, one in acrylic, one in oil. I want to see which process I enjoy more, and which turns out the best.
Both are 5 x 7 inches, the oil is on canvas board, the acrylic on heavyweight Arches Hot Press Watercolour paper.

With both of them I am trying to paint a mid toned under painting. This was more successful on the acrylic as I put my small brushes away and made a real effort not to paint any detail. The hardest thing I'm finding with painting rather than drawing is 'unlearning' how I work. With a drawing I work with tiny strokes and detail from the first mark, that is not how I want to paint. I want to establish form and build up from there.
This is the acrylic, a Snow Leopard from my own reference photograph.
Remember this is at the ugly stage and I need to do something with the sky it is totally wrong in tone.

The oil is a Cheetah, also from my own reference photograph.
It has a strange glare because the paint was still wet, again this is at the ugly stage.

Hopefully when I post again they will be looking very much better.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More ACEO's

It has actually been dry today, the dogs were amazed when they queued up on the mat to have their paws wiped and they were sent straight inside. They have developed a paw wiping routine, they let Saska go first as she complains her old feet will drop off if they stay wet any longer, then Roxie pushes in because she can't bear not knowing what's going on. The others push and shove like naughty children and Clinton objects to coming in because he wants to watch the squirrels.
Two more ACEO's, I am however working on a Cheetah in oil, a Snow Leopard in acrylic and several felines for the SOFA exhibition later in the year.


You can bid for the cat here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Meerkat in acrylic, Finished

We took Juno to his first show in four months today (I know I thought I was going last weekend, but I got it wrong)

We were really pleased when he won his class and then got Reserve Best Rough Collie Dog in Show.

When I came home I finished painting my meerkat. I enjoyed the acrylic although I have a canvas drawn out to give oils another go.
I do intend to do a larger painting of meerkats, I find their funny little faces very appealing.
And yes, it is still raining.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Meerkat in Acrylic

I've been totally absorbed in painting ACEO's during this last week.
The following two are on drafting film, using coloured pencil and acrylic.

Both these are available on eBay, the cat is now SOLDSOLD
This last one is on Arches Hot press watercolour paper using acrylic. I loved the way the meerkat was studying the sky, he/she stayed like that for quite a long time so I managed to take plenty of photographs.

And still it rains here in Yorkshire. My favourite walk is the 'stoat walk' (I call it that, because I sometimes see stoats at various points on it) but there is a dip in the lane just before it crosses the canal. This morning there was a lake in the dip, I sent Clinton ahead, but when the water started to reach his chest I called him back and we returned home. Trying to keep Juno's whites white for his show tomorrow is a little difficult to put it mildly.

At least it is good painting weather.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Cougar or Puma ACEO

This is todays effort, a cougar, puma or mountain lion ACEO, again on drafting film but this time I painted the background with acrylics.
This ACEO is listed on eBay , it is now SOLD

Last night we were burgled, how could that happen with the canine gang, well I asked the said gang the same question.

We heard Rio start to give little wuffs about 2.15am, husband shouted at him, Rio carried on, husband got up and looked out the back windows, saw nothing so shouted louder. Two minutes later Clinton who sleeps in our bedroom started to growl, I got up this time and looked out the front window in time to see a car pulling away down the road. Eldest son collided with me as he had also woken up and seen someone creeping down the drive.

The front door had been opened, Roxie who sleeps behind the door had obviously welcomed the intruder with plenty of tail wagging, but Clinton and Rio had frightened them off. Tonight the door will be locked and Roxie will change sleeping places with Juno, who will definitely not welcome univited guests. Unfortunately he had been sleeping in the conservatory and missed the excitement, the other dogs had obviously told him about it though because he has been practicing barking all day today.

The thieves took a case of wine, a case of lager and a brand new drill from the garage, all I can say is I hope they have a headache.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Tiger ACEO

I'm trying to maintain productivity but not neglect my marketing. Today I've selected the four images I hope to submit to the 2008 SOFA exhibition later in the year and sorted out my Crufts entry so I'm feeling slightly pleased with myself.

I've also created another ACEO, a tiger but this time on drafting film.


The rain is continuing, leading to web foot syndrome among the dogs again, even the squirrels need waders to get to the nuts. The circular stones which form a path across my garden have been transformed into miniature bird baths and the pond has overflowed into the surrounding borders. I was reminded of the Amazon when I noticed my fish could now swim among the plants, I expect if it rains for much longer they'll probably be able to make it to the Amazon.

My friend recently tried to contact me on my mobile, which was as usual switched off. If I leave it on then I forget about it, and it either rings in the middle of important meetings or the battery runs down in the middle of the night. I'm not sure why batteries always expire in the middle of the night, I think they must work to the same timetable as in whelp bitches!. Anyway Clinton is terrified of the bleeping noise expiring batteries make, as soon as the first bleep happens he comes to me to be saved. This involves him jumping on the bed and wrapping himself round my head. Even when I stagger out of bed, find the phone and turn it off, the damage is done for that night. He insists that if he doesn't remain wrapped round my head, something on the floor will get him and he wont make it through the night. After about half an hour of large, heavy, very hairy male Collie round my nose I wonder if I will make it till morning, so that is why my mobile is never turned on.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Paper Supports

I finished my wolf, I think I might try a graphite study before I start my large painting.
The main paper supports I use are Arches Hot Press watercolour paper for coloured pencil and Mellotex for graphite.

Arches - this is a lovely smooth paper which takes a lot of layers but is a creamy rather than white colour. The paper is acid and chlorine free and available in 3 finishes, not, hot pressed and rough. I only ever use the hot pressed as I need a smooth finish.

Mellotex - this is a printers paper, very smooth, available in several weights and three different whites. As with Arches it is an archival, acid free paper. I understand it is only available in the UK.
I use the heavier weights in the ultra white as I like to leave the white of the paper for the background in graphite pieces.

I sometimes use coloured paper like Ingres or Mi Tientes, these are not as heavy as they are primarily pastel papers, so will not take as many layers.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year

I would like to wish all my readers a very happy and peaceful 2008, a little late but I've just returned from spending a few days in Scotland.

I managed to take some wonderful photographs of four male European wolves which live at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie.
I might not paint this one, I can't imagine him making a popular print.
I do intend to paint a scene with several wolves later in the year and as preparation I've started a small study in watercolour pencils.

I'm going to try to produce at least one small work a week and at least 18 larger pieces over the year so at least I've made a start.

I'm going to continue my art material series over the next couple of days before I return to the dreaded 'day job' on Monday.