Friday, May 30, 2008

More Mastiff in Coloured Pencil

Still no progress on the tiger but I have been working on the Mastiff puppy.

Rio has found a new sport, catching wasps, not only catching them, but then very noisily eating them. I'm not sure where they're coming from but he had three this afternoon. As soon as I see him bouncing round the Conservatory I know he's found another. The other dogs are horrified, Roxie thinks they're nasty dirty things that she wouldn't touch with Clinton's paw. Roma watches with a mothers anxiety, Saska can't see them (or hear them) and Juno bites Rio in the excitement. I spent my time trying to prevent Rio getting stung.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Drawing a Mastiff Puppy.

I wanted a break from the tiger yesterday and decided to do something less detailed.
This little Mastiff pup is coloured pencil on Ingres paper, about 12 x 8 inches.
I use Ingres paper when I'm not planning on many layers as I like the coloured surface.

I have a new link in my sidebar for a wildlife artist, Ian 'Griff' Griffiths, if you like birds check out his website,

These are a couple of his images.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rio the Rough Collie

I'm practicing with my new video camera, this is Rio the dog on his chair!. He always jumps straight onto the chair to look into the garden from the run.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Continuing Graphite Tiger

I've done page two for my portfolio today.

I've also continued working on my tiger and sorted out a composition for my next graphite piece, so I'm feeling very productive.

The weather has been nice for the past few days so I'm having to spend time in the garden. One minute it looks reasonably tidy, the next I can only see the dogs ears above the grass. OK a slight exageration but it is growing fast.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Creating a Portfolio

I wanted to create a portfolio which shows several steps in the creation of some of my paintings and drawings.
I started by using Adobe InDesign, but I'm not really that familiar with it's workings and was having to turn to the help at every stage. So I switched to Serif PagepPlus 9 which I have used fairly extensively.
I created a master on an A4 sheet which gives me 4 small areas and a larger one, so I can show 4 stages plus the final.
I printed my sample on fine art paper and was pleased with the result, it has given me something to work from. It obviously needs a bit of fine tuning but at least I have the basics worked out.

As I own both a comb binder and a laminator I should be able to create quite a substantial end result.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Virtual Sketch; Cat in Graphite and India Ink

As promised yesterday, here is the result of my attempt at drawing Jeanette's cat Tripod.
It was great fun drawing from someone else's cat photo, and Tripod is a lovely cat to draw. Because this was just for fun I experimented with laying down the graphite. I did much more blending than I usually do and used graphite dust from my 4B pencil rubbed on with a stump in some places. I also painted India Ink in the really dark areas.
As a technique I will explore it in more depth as I think it has promise for achieving areas of soft focus.

Sadly I didn't finish the sketch but hopefully it is a reasonable likeness of Tripod. I did put a cat book behind him so that he could have a read if he got bored with drawing.
Don't forget to look at everyone else's drawings, I posted all the links yesterday.

I would really like to join in another virtual sketch if anyone else is up for it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More Graphite

I'm continuing to plod along with the graphite tiger.
I'm also taking part in a virtual sketch with several other people including Jeanette, Rose, Jennifer, Jeanne, Stacy, Belinda, Teresa, Katherine and Paulette (sorry if I've missed anyone out)
The reference was supplied by Jeanette.
The results will be posted tomorrow, I have to say it's been great fun and I'd like to do one more often.

Friday, May 09, 2008

More Graphite

I took a photograph of the tool I use for indenting next to the partially drawn tiger, so that you can see the scale.That is only a small part of the picture, he will have more of his body drawn eventually.

I have had a week filled with disasters, mostly they were small to middling but didn't feel like it at the time.
As the sun made a brief appearance last weekend, we went to visit the local garden centre, which also has an aquatic section. My eldest son loves Sterlets, but the Sterlets don't return the affection. He has had two, one lasted a day, the second a couple of days. Their habit of swimming round the edge of the pond makes them an easy target for local cats and the Heron that visits.
However I gave in and bought him another one, which was released into the pond. He checked on it several times over that evening and asked me to look at it the following morning as he is in the middle of his University exams.
Well I looked, and looked, and looked as despair started to set in. After 15 minutes I was just going to go in the house when I saw a twitch by my foot, there was the fish, in the soil.
As it was still breathing I put it in the pond and stood guard until it managed to right itself. I checked it over the next couple of hours but it didn't improve, so I steered it round for a while. Eventually Stevie the Sterlet recovered enough to dive to the bottom of the pond. I couldn't see any injuries so I assume the daft thing had jumped out of the water.
I have now had to net the pond to stop it doing it again which means I can't see my fish very well, plus I have had to build a ramp leading to a hole for the frogs and toads.
The next story involves a treadmill which when built had the incline going the wrong way, so instead of running uphill you were running down!