Monday, 26 October 2009

Sorry I am not managing to post very often, just about keeping on top of things, have thankfully finished my last pet portrait for a while, will post after Christmas as I don't want to risk spoiling my clients surprise (not likely but you never know!)
In between coursework I am trying to do some of my own stuff (art) without much success but did manage a couple of pencil sketches/drawings, this is one I did in the wee small hours, after not being able to sleep (would love a switch to turn off over active brain!!!!)
This is Sammy my little grandson in a not too typical pose as he is normally a sunny little character, but I did find this pic very interesting to draw, I do not do a lot of human portraits but found this a perfect de-stresser (is that a word?)

Monday, 5 October 2009

Well today I have managed to work some on my Christmas commission, sorry can't show it yet, but hopefully will at Christmas. Also have one confirmed and one possible commission for my college project, have two unanswered offers (the project requires us to gain commissions in the public and private sectors) so they will be almost certainly no go's now, as I won't have time for more.
Have updated my portfolio, worked some more on my ICT (film and video) project, mainly research and writing up. A quick clean up after the weekend (we had our two grandchildren Leah 8, and Sam 2, to stay) am now about to cook dinner and tonight will be spent working out how to use and getting ready the college video camera for filming when I walk Oskar in the morning, before I leave ! The project has a theme of duality and I have come up with the idea of the local environment being overshadowed by a Nuclear Power station, and need to get some more film (my little camera doesent have the required quality of film for editing) and also some sounds of birds etc, and the throb and hum of industry, will visit the power station for the second time at the weekend but have to get sounds from elsewhere in the meantime, and then try to fit in learning something about Final Cut (film editing prog) as I dont have the program on my computer, and will be using it for the editing!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Weird day today, after really bad night with strange dreams, and little sleep, most likely due to sore throat/chest infection, me and husband have managed to pick up, I did not think `I would be doing much in the way of art.' My commission is still on the easel untouched, but looking at a picc of my Late G.S.D girl Kess, who was pts, almost a year ago, I suddenly had the urge to draw her, something I have been planning for months but have been unable to face.....(is this what they call the "muse"?)
my printer isnt working properly , so bringing the main computer down from upstairs (my laptop is useless for drawing from) its a MAC so not the massive task that it sounds like!
I started with an eye and have just carried on........ no pre drawing just this urgent need to get her on paper!!!!! I used the first paper I found that was the right colour, feels like sandpaper, I had put this away for experiments some time......and this is the result so far.....and it is her, even down to her odd gaze due to a fixed retina from birth... I have run out of steam and am looking after my grandson later so have to clear away, and may or may not finish this, but it feels good to have started......

Monday, 7 September 2009

some thing different

I have a surprise Christmas Portrait to start, (a bit early , but am back at college next week so won't have much time for commission work then. ) so won't be showing it on here.
I have been playing around with acrylic and also oil pastels, the former still not going where I want it too, the latter looks promising.
This is acrylics and soft pastels on heavy watercolour paper

Friday, 28 August 2009

Maisie finished

Well I think I am done with this one now, will leave it on my board for a few days, in case I need to tweak it here and there, but as I don't want too much detail in the tree/leaves to distract from the cat I will resist the urge to fiddle. As you can see Maisie herself was very impressed by the whole procedure!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Today's update

I have adjusted the nose, and now need to alter the mouth area. Her colours are not correct in the photo, due to lighting and tree/leaf shadows, so am now working from Maisie herself, while she lies asleep on the sofa!! Her underneath and legs in particular are a much creamy colour than in the pic and her markings vary from a very dark sepia to a true black.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Update on Maisie picture

This one is beginning to turn into a real labour of love (a labour anyway!)
Slow going today, but have made quite a bit of headway, I am getting a little concerned about the nose mouth area as it is "not quite her" so thought I would get the up date on here, and finish for today, then compare with the photos at the same size as the portrait to check on the positioning etc.
I have tried turning it upside down and in the mirror but so far no help, Hopefully a fresh start tomorrow will show me the error/s in the drawing. Anyway here is where we are at!
Afraid the photos are a little dull due to lighting (we have rain again!)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Have progressed some, and I think this is going where I want.
Her face needs some adjusting around the nose area but I will do it as I get to it.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

A bit late starting my latest project, as real life keeps getting in the way, including an accident with a coffee table this morning, that means at least another hour or so to try and fix it! So thought I would post where I am at......
This is a personal portrait of my cat Maisie in her favorite tree, an old Bramley at the bottom of our garden.
I am using the reference photo mainly just for composition, and will adapt the colours to my liking and also to her true colour as the tree shadows make her look greeny/grey as opposed to the creamy /sepia/grey that she really is, and as its my cat, my tree and my picture I can have it anyway I like ;-)
I have spent a couple of days trying to decide what medium/support to use, as I want to give Coloured pencils another go, but I have decided to play safe and use pastels and pastel pencils for this one as it has elements in the picture that I don't usually draw/paint (namely everything except the cat!) and also I would like it to be hung near my portrait of Oskar (my J.R.T) which I did a while ago, also in pastels on mount board (its the one of him sat on a wooden chair on the website)
As the mount board is a grey/brown I have transferred my drawing using white graphite so that I can see it, my main worry at the moment is that the trunk of the tree doesent over power the cat, I originally planned on just a wash of soft pastels suggesting them, but it did not really work so have gone in with stronger colours and a little detail.
My normal way of working in pastels is to underpaint the whole thing with soft pastel and then build layers with increasingly hard pastels, finishing with pastel pencils for details, but I have deviated from this as I want to get the trees in first, so that I can then judge the values for the cat! Anyway enough waffle for now, will update soon.

Monday, 10 August 2009


Have been looking at this all day as I can see something is "off" and have just realised I have committed the cardinal sin of rendering what I think I see instead of what is actually there.
I had problems with the far front leg and now realise why, the near front foot is too big! so correction is in order.


Pretty much done, but Buster will be left upright on my drawing table for a couple of days in case there is anything that needs doing, then he will be placed in a mount ready to give to his owners. I am not sure why I can't seem to get a good clear pic, without the "foggyness"around the leg and foot, might be the poor light as once again it is raining.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Buster update

Thought I had better show that I have been doing some work, I have had a few problems with the far, front leg, due to my poor photography it doesn't really show well on photos , that will teach me to be more careful picking refs, I have just realised that the batch of photos I took of Maisie in the Apple tree make her look rather green too...... but will have to cross that when I get to it, maybe some more pics with a different background, I could just sketch her in the tree, IF she stayed still long enough!!!!
Buster is nearly finished, we have a wedding to attend tomorrow and sunday is "family/grandchildren" day so Hopefully will get to finish him off next week.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Buster update

still looking a bit rough but
the layers are going down well,
hoping to smooth out
and get some detail in tomorrow

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


After transferring my initial drawing
to mount board (cream), Buster has been blocked in
with soft pastels, this looks a bit odd to begin with as the colours tend to be rough and patchy.
Further layers are built up and refined, the top layers in pastel pencils to provide fineness of line and affording more control.
I normally work from top left to bottom right, covering the work with layout paper as I go to avoid smudging.
I have started to work on some of the head and neck detail, and will work down through the body, to legs and feet.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


Hubby and I spent a very interesting day at the Bristol museum, as Bristol is barely an hour away from us, we really felt that we could not miss the Banksy Exhibition, especially as we have seen and heard so much of the hype surrounding it!
After queuing for over two hours, we decided to have some lunch before browsing the museum (I am ashamed to say it is the first time we have visited it) and enjoyed many of the exhibits that are on display in addition to Banksy. Some very beautiful traditional paintings including some pre-Raphaelite work (my favorite along with art Nouveau/Deco) Paintings by local artists, as well as Ceramics, pottery, glass, Egyptian carvings, sarcophagus's, Dinosaur fossils, wildlife etc

Saturday, 1 August 2009

August 1 09

Another wet summer day! Maisie our Bengal cat is driving us nuts with her too-ing and fro-ing from back door to front door, hoping that the weather has improved between each journey I presume! Her favorite spot is an old Bramley down the bottom of the garden, not so inviting when dripping with rain!

Joey has been delivered and well received, and now resides on the graphite page of my website.

Friday, 31 July 2009

July 09

The last day of the month finds me about to start a new dog portrait, Having just finished two portraits of one dog (a memorial for a boxer dog) working from the same photograph, head alone /full body in graphite, I am ready for a change of mood and medium.
This next picture is not a commission as such but a thank you gift for my lovely friends and neighbours Sally and Paul who keep a check on my two, Maisie (Bengal cat) and Oskar (JRT) when I am not at home.
The portrait is a full body pastel painting of Buster their tri-coloured JRT, quite a bit larger than my Oskar, this dog is full of character and spirit and I am looking forward to creating this picture