Thursday, 30 April 2009

Background for donkey

I have searched my photos for a suitable background for the donkey and hope to incorporate something from each of these.  Of course the background should have been established first but breaking the rules is an artist's perogitive and I was so eager to get started on the subject.  The most difficult part will be getting the correct perspective, light direction and grounding the donkey so he looks part of the scene.  Up until now I have either left the background out or given it a blurred non-descript look so a new phase for me.  I am looking forward to doing the lovely textures on the walls and yard floor. 
The old cart wheels are from NZ, the window from Slovakia, the watering-can from Yorkshire and the yard is Secret World in Somerset, the wildlife rescue centre.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Hare in the grass

This little sketch in graphite is 17x9cm. I wanted to practise drawing weeds (these ones are imagined so probably not very realistic).  I also thought it might make a nice greeting card.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Donkey in graphite WIP3

Legs and chest completed, the shadows in the white fur are particularly difficult to do so may need some more work once the background has been established. This picture is a scan so the reproduction is much better than the previous ones taken with the camera.

Friday, 24 April 2009


My picture of Taffy won a prize in the RSPCA Bath Cats & Dogs Home first exhibition.  Apparently it was chosen by the Meltone Gallery I have a £100 voucher to spend on framing, I'm chuffed to bits!  Thank you Colin at Meltone Gallery and also Josie Reed of Chapel  Row Gallery for selecting my painting, not forgetting all those who worked so hard in setting up the exhibition.  Hope you do one again next year.
Taffy was painted from a photo I took in 2006, he pulls the narrow boat full of tourists along the Tiverton canal.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Donkey in graphite - WIP2

He is coming along nicely I was pleased with the body shading as it has that shaggy unkempt look, the back legs might need more work but I will wait until I have completed the forelegs.  The tail was hidden in the photo reference so I have invented one but it is looking a little thin so more work needed.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Donkey in Graphite - WIP

I'm in graphite mode after Mike's workshop so I decided to have a go at this sweet little donkey from the Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary.  If all goes well it will be a full body picture in a landscape.  I know I should have planned the background first but I just couldn't wait to get started.  It is on white paper but the photo image has greyed it down.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Collie, duck and hen house

I spent 4 hours finishing this picture yesterday, the weeds were the most difficult and don't look very convincing so more practise needed there.  I loved doing the wood and old rusty wheel.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Mike Sibley's workshop

Three full days of uninterupted art, wow aren't I lucky!  The workshop was great and I learned a lot from Mike's graphite techniques.  First day we practised tone, second day textures (making a pile of hay look convincing was most difficult).  The third day we put everything into practise drawing a delightful picture of an old hen-house, with a Boarder Collie, an Aylesbury Duck and some weeds.  The picture now waiting on my drawing board for me to finish.  For anyone interested in detailed drawing I can fully recommend Mike's workshop. 

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Dee-Dee Finished

Just about finished I think.  Will look at it over the next few days and may tweak a few hairs.  I am pleased I was able to soften the fur on the back to bring the detail on the face forward.  I also gave a little more detail to the eye which shows more on the photo than in the original.

My Derwent Inktense pencils arrived today so I just have time for a play before my 3 day graphite workshop with Mike Sibley.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Dee-Dee WIP 6

I have now got going on the back but I am not happy with the stripey look so will work on this some more. I have also started defining the highlighted hairs on the left cheek. Not far to go now.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Dee-Dee WIP 5

Collar now complete in Crimson and the clip in light and dark cool grey. Some work done under the eye but may need a few tweaks.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Dee-Dee WIP 4

I was getting a bit lost with the fur under the eye so moved across to the wispy bits on the cheek. I found this to be the most difficult bit so far as I had to bring the background into the negative space between the light hairs. A soft eraser was very useful to bring back the highlights. Still not totally satisfied with it but will move on to the collar next and look at it again later.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary

The Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary have accepted my painting of 'Feeling Poorly' to produce greetings cards in support of their charity. This picture is painted in coloured pencil on Stonehenge Natural, unframed size 31x23cm.
For those who have never been to the sanctuary, entry is free and there are lots of photo opportunities, especially in the summer months. There is a pleasant cafe and picnic area.

Dee-Dee WIP 3

The eyebrows are now defined and the left eye completed. In the photo reference the eye was very black so I used artistic license to create form, shape and a little highlight.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Dee-Dee WIP 2

The viewers right eye has been worked and the eyebrow defined. I have added some orangey highlights to the fur to warm it up and some grape and grey to harmonise the colours. The left ear has been worked and I have used a safety razor blade to scratch into the darks to create the finer hairs. I have blended some crimson into the background.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Dee-Dee work-in-progress

Dee-Dee is one of two rescued Schnauzers belonging to my nephew. I have used Karisma/Prismacolor coloured pencils on drafting film. The background has 3 layers, black, burnt umber and terracotta burnished with a chamois leather pad to blend the colours. I have started work on the viewers right ear and forehead using rosy-beige, grape, cool greys, indigo and white.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Bath Cats & Dogs Home exhibition

I am pleased to be able to tell you that these two pictures, Taffy & Sled Dogs have been accepted to the first open exhibition at the Bath Cats & Dogs Home, Claverton Down. Reception evening is Wed. 8 April 6-8pm everyone welcome. The exhibition runs over the following 2 weekends. 11/12 & 18/19 April 11.30-3.30.
Taffy, pastel on velour, is a lovely shirehorse that pulls the narrow boat up and down the Taunton & Bridgewater Canal. Sled dogs is graphite pencil with a touch of colour in the mouth and eyes. This is from a photo courtesy of my nephew David.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Greetings Cards

I have had some Giclee prints and greetings cards printed by Picselation I can highly recommend them and although they don't have card prices on their website they are very reasonable and will do small quantities. About 64p each for 20 cards of the same 5"x7" image. You can have just a few printed if you wish but at an added cost. They will print whatever you require on the back and come individually packed with envelope ready to sell. Takes a lot of hassle out of doing it yourself and allows more time for painting.

Moo Cards

My new business art cards arrived in yesterdays post, very exciting. Moo Cards have done a great job for a reasonable price. I hope they appreciate my plug!