Thursday, February 26, 2009

Graphite Woodpecker - Finished

Now I've posted him I can see one or two tweaks that I need to make. You need to ignore the blue cast from the scan it isn't there in real life.
Today a female Woodpecker visited the garden so at least there are a pair in the vicinity.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bird of the Day - Goldcrest

Not much progress on the art today but I did get a great photograph of the Goldcrest that visits the garden. For once I was in the right place with my camera. This will definitely appear in a painting at some stage.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lion in Pastel - part 2

I've been working on my lion. I did take time out yesterday to go to Martin Mere and then visit a friends litter of Rough Collie pups.
The lion looks a little like he's just been to the hairdressers, but I'll change that later.
Martin Mere was cold but I got some good photographs of a male Sparrowhawk. It landed on the ground and stayed for quite a long time with its feet in a shallow pond.
The puppies were lovely, our friends consistently breed quality puppies and these were no exception.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Lion in Pastel

After the Chipmunk I decided I liked my pastels again. I have a love/hate relationship with them and have been in the hate phase recently.
So I started this lion that I photographed at the South Lakes Wildlife Park last summer.
I watched him for quite a while and took lots of photographs, but I like the way he's looking at the viewer with his head slightly tilted in this shot.
It is about 20 x 16 on blue haze Colourfix paper.
I'm laying a base coat with soft pastels then working with pastel pencils for fine hairs. I will finish with really soft pastels to add little highlights.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Graphite Woodpecker Continued

The Woodpecker is finished apart from a few tweaks, I need to work on the tree now.
Hope you all, including me, have a good week.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chipmunk in Pastel

This has been one of those weeks you prefer to forget, as quickly as possible.
We took my younger son for an interview at the University he hopes to study medicine at on Wednesday. We set off in bright sunshine, ten miles down the road we were in the middle of a snow storm. My car doesn't do snow, it is rear wheel drive with sports tyres which don't tend to have a good grip. The next hour was rather tense.
We got home and the electrics died in it. Unfortunately they died when my husband had been driving, which meant I couldn't move the seat to reach the pedals.

Yesterday the boiler died in spectacular fashion, the circuit board started smoking, so no heat or hot water.
This morning my husband went to take my car to the garage to find not only had the electrics died, so had the car.
But, thanks to a very nice Mercedes technician the car was resucitated enough to make the garage and British Gas replaced the circuit board in the boiler.

The car may or may not return home today, and the boiler needs more work on Monday, but that will be a new week.
I found a piece of black Stonehenge paper and decided to do a small pastel. I know Stonehenge is the favourite paper of many coloured pencil artists but I don't like it. I prefer Arches or Fabriano for coloured pencil which is why I decided to use it for pastel.
This is from one of my photographs of a Chipmunk I saw last summer in South Dakota. It is only small, about 6 x 6.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Graphite Woodpecker Part 3

More progress on the Woodpecker. I decided to add a touch of colour with a watercolour pencil. I just wanted a subtle touch so didn't add too much and kept it to one pencil.
I usually do French Grey coloured pencil with a splash of colour so this makes a change.
My garden bird for today is a Thrush that was searching for food at the back of the garden.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Graphite Woodpecker Continued

I've made a start on the tree by layering different leads, 4H, HB, 2B then smoothing it all out with a HB. At the end I'll lift some highlights and add some interesting darks.

We went to Mere Sands Wood and Martin Mere today. The light was good with blue sky and sun until just after lunch.
I saw my first Bullfinches of the year, a couple of Bramblings ande had excellent views of a Snipe.
Here's a male Bullfinch.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Graphite Woodpecker

I've returned to graphite today, I'm feeling tired and I don't have to think with graphite in the same way I do with paint.
This is from another of my Great Spotted Woodpecker photographs,
16 x 14 in on Arches hot press watercolour paper.
It is too early to tell if Roxie is in whelp, but she thinks she is. She is bossing the other dogs about, claiming the best sleeping spots and all the toys. She has also become even more vocal than usual telling everyone how she'd quite like to go back to visit her mate again.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Golden Eagle in watercolour

I've started a painting of a Golden Eagle from one of my own reference photographs. There is more of the Eagle but it didn't fit in my scanner.
It is approximately 18 x 14 on Arches hot press paper.
I'm using mainly watercolour with touches of watercolour pencils to add detail. I've decided not to include a background on this one although I might add one or two twigs to suggest a nest.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Coloured Pencil Stoat Finished

I've finished my stoat, I like the effect but it will be a while before I want to use French Grey pencils again.

I had a first for my garden birds today, a small flock of Redpolls. I've never even seen them locally so was delighted when I spotted them in my Silver Birch.

It's not a good photograph because the light is poor and they were right at the back of the garden, but you can see the red forehead.

I've started a graphite Woodpecker and a watercolour Golden Eagle which I'll share when I'm further along.