Thursday, November 27, 2014

Association of Animal Artists Spring 2015 Exhibition

I'm a member of the Association of Animal Artists and was absolutely delighted when one of my images was chosen to feature on the poster for the Spring 2015 exhibition.
The exhibition which is to be held at Martin Mere WWT will feature british wildlife and will run from 2nd February 2015 until 29th March 2015.

The Association was founded in 2009 and membership is by application. If you are interested in painting animals it is well worth applying as I have found it to be a friendly and dynamic society. There are at least three exhibitions planned for 2015 as well as various other 'meet ups' 
The artwork produced is always varied but of a consistently high standard, if you look at the list of artist members you can see why, many of the names will be familiar to anyone who likes animal art.

This is the link to the home page : Association of Animal Artists

Martin Mere is in Lancashire, 10 miles from Southport and well worth a visit at  if you are interested in birds.
This is the link to the home page : Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetland Trust

Finally a close up from my painting:-

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Grouse Study in Mixed Media

Red Grouse Study
Mixed Media on Paper, 14 x 18 inches
Original Available, email me if interested.

I am lucky to have several areas of moorland close to home that sustain breeding populations of red grouse so that over the course of several years I have taken hundreds of reference photographs in all seasons.
I couldn't make my mind up if I wanted to do a painting or drawing so decided to go for the best of both worlds and combine the two. The main image is acrylic fading into graphite and the two small ones are graphite.
Detail from the above study.

My original idea included either one or two flying grouse but sadly I was always too slow with my camera and captured mostly tips of wings, trailing legs or no grouse at all, so a flying grouse will have to wait for another time.
As I have so many good photographs to work from I will be doing another drawing in the future, perhaps a less serious image like one taken from my reference photograph below.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Catch Up - Again

Glenspey Heavenly Star - 'Roxie'
23/09/2006 - 31/10/2014
We had to say goodbye to Roxie or as she was known to the family 'little foxley' last week. It was totally unexpected and we are still in shock.

On a happier note Xena is now eight months old and although she is the naughtiest puppy we've ever owned she is a complete delight to live with.   


I've not completed many pictures over the summer but I did add to my series of big cats drawn in graphite, the latest one is an amur tiger.
   'Best Foot Forward'
Graphite on Paper, approximately 17.5 x 11inches
Original available from the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, London

More to follow:-

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Studio- Also known as the spare room.

Earlier this year my eldest son moved into his own home and while I miss him a great deal I immediately claimed his bedroom and gave it a make over changing it into my art room. Although it is only a small room after years of working in a corner of my lounge it's lovely to be able to leave my art materials spread out. I thought it might be nice to give a little tour.

This is the view looking into the room from the door. My drafting table is on the right next to a large storage unit which holds most of my art supplies. To the left is my small pencil storage rack. I was lucky enough to aquire a complete set of storage for pencils when my local art store was changing brands. Until recently these have been stored in the attic so it was lovely to be able to have them somewhere I can actually see and use them.
Moving round to the left you can see my small pencil storage which holds mainly prismacolour pencils, and the edge of my easel. The picture on the wall is a pastel drawing of Clinton when he was a puppy, sadly he died in January at almost 12 tears old so you can tell how long ago I drew the portrait. The photograph is another of my dogs, Chelsey, who sadly died far too young of suspected liver problems.
I'm not using my easel at the moment because I usually work on my drafting table when I'm using graphite pencils but I have plenty of space to move it around when I'm painting.
In the corner I have a full set of storage units which once held Karisma pencils but now hold my Polychromos spares and some Prismacolours.
Over my easel I have a couple of shelves which hold various books and magazines, plus various soft toys that I'm keeping out of the reach of Xena the puppy.
The other side of the room has the storage unit next to the drafting table. I also usually have a collie or two lying about but they were more interested in watching what I was doing so they were behind the camera rather than in front of it this morning.
Having shown my work area I have to say that when the weather is nice I usually work at my smaller drafting table which I left in my lounge. This is situated next to the patio doors which open onto my decking so that it's easy to take a break outside, not that I do that very often of course :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Catch Up

'Trial Run'
Graphite on Fabriano Artistico

It's been a long time since I updated my blog, in fact I struggled to log in having forgotten my password.
My family suffered a tragedy early in March which put art on hold for a few weeks.

Since my last post I've attended three exhibitions, all of which were reasonably successful. The Yorkshire Game Fair held at Newby Hall near Ripon was the muddiest show I've ever attended, the mud was knee deep and tractors were needed to move vehicles on and off the field. It was an experience I'd prefer not to repeat.
Last week I attended Patchings Art Festival, I always enjoy the social aspects of this show although sales were slow over the weekend.

We welcomed a new addition to the family a few weeks ago, meet Xena who is quite possibly the naughtiest puppy I've ever owned. Her hobbies include stripping wallpaper from the hallway, removing plants from the garden and carrying live bees about. We still don't know how she managed to carry a very large bee all the way across the garden without getting stung. However I can report that the bee flew away uninjured.

I've just submitted an article to Leisure Painter on drawing a peacock feather, it should be published in the August magazine out at the beginning of July.

I've started a series of graphite drawings of working dogs, The first one is 'Trial Run' drawn from one of my own reference photographs.

I do now intend to post much more regularly in the future.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Amur Leopard in Graphite

'Striding Out'
Graphite on Mellotex, 17.5 x 11.75 inches

I'm alive and well but have been really busy with real life happenings.

I have a new pencil practice article in this months Leisure Painter magazine (May 2014) on drawing weathered wood in coloured pencil.
'Weathered Stump' the subject of my latest pencil practice article

The next article will be in the July issue and will be techniques for drawing water.

I've marked plenty of assignments for the London Art College diploma course on drawing and painting pet portraits.

I'm in the middle of painting two large commissions of a lovely old Airedale called Joe. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe and his owners at Wetherby service station on a bitterly cold winter day so that I could take my own photographs and meet Joe in person.

Show season is fast approaching, my first show of the year will be the Harrogate Spring Flower Show which takes place at the end of this month.

I do intend to get back into a regular blogging routine as it helps me to focus on getting things completed.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Step-by-Step Guide to drawing a Brown Hare in Coloured Pencil

 An example of one of the diagrams included in the booklet.

My step-by-step guide to drawing a brown hare is now available, I have added a buy it now button on the sidebar and it will be available from my website.

The booklet consists of 16 A5 pages (approx 5.75 x 8.25 inches) printed on a heavy bright white printer paper.

The cost is £6.50 plus £1.50 post and packing.

For the colours used I have included a pencil comparison chart for Polychromos and Prismacolor pencils. I have not always found an exact colour match but have suggested a similar colour.
Anyone who purchases the guide can email me for help if they get stuck.

Please note that this guide duplicates the article that I wrote for Leisure Painter Magazine which was published in the November 2013 issue.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Review of 2013

Scotland New Years Day 2014

Wishing all my readers a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2014.

Looking back at 2013 I seem to have had a mixed year with some real highs but in other areas much less achieved than I intended.

The Highlights of 2013
'Big Red'
My finest achievement in 2013 was Big Red winning the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery prize for best in show at the 2013 Society of Feline Artists exhibition.

Objects drawn for Leisure Painter Magazine Articles
I started writing for Leisure Painter magazine and so far I've written the following articles:-
  • Coloured Pencil Techniques
  • Pencil Practice : Hare
  • Pencil Practice : Metal
  • Pencil Practice : Glass (to be published in the March issue)  
 I will be continuing to write for the magazine every other month throughout 2014

My final highlight of 2013 was taking over the role of tutor for the Pet Portrait Course run by the London Art College.

I exhibited at the following shows:-

Spring and Autumn Harrogate Flower shows
Yorkshire Game Fair
Society of Feline Artists annual exhibition
Supreme Cat Show

I plan to attend them again in 2014 with the exception of the Supreme Cat show and the Autumn Flower show ( I'll be in Canada when the flower show is held)

 'Ladnar Kingfisher - Phenix'
I completed several commissions including a stunning champion rough collie, 'Ladnar Kingfisher'

Not Achieved in 2013

I was much less active writing my blog than I planned. My aim for 2014 is to write at least one post a week.
I didn't enter as many competitions or juried exhibitions as I originally planned but I did keep to my decision of not entering work that I didn't consider good enough.
I didn't produce as much original work as I originally thought I would but writing for Leisure Painter and my tutor role did take quite a lot of my time.

My next post will be looking at what I aim to achieve in 2014.