Thursday, 14 June 2018

14/06: FRANKIE - Finished (for the moment)

I'm calling this finished for the time being as I need to put the pastels away and clean my workroom which is a REAL mess.

We're flying to Kenya on Sunday for a 3 camp Safari (staying 3 nights at each one).   So I need to get packing and cleaning the house before the 'house-sitter' arrives.   She is family but, even so, don't want her thinking I'm a real slob!

I know that when I next look at Frankie I'll want to change lots of things but I don't want to overwork it.   FB suppresses photo quality so I can't really see all the detail in Frankie's mouth for instance ... but as its going to be a surprise gift I really can't ask Sister-in-law for the original photo.  I guess it was taken on her phone anyway so probably not as clear as I'd like.




Tuesday, 12 June 2018

12/06: Frankie. Pastel on white Pastelmat

Its too cold/grey to work in the garden as planned so I've started a small portrait of my ex-Sister-in-Law's little dog, Frankie.

Its S-i-Law's birthday soon so I'll have it ready for then.

Frankie is very cute and I've filched this photo from her FB page showing him with his nice new haircut.    He is about 13 years old now but not doing badly for a pensioner.

Its only a small portrait - slightly bigger than A4 sized (around 10 x 13") so it is going quite quickly although I do prefer to work 'bigger' when using pastelmat to get sharper detail.  I know wall space is tight at her house though.


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

05/06: Indian Man Pink Turban and Coloured Shawl

Do you remember this guy?

He was one of the many villagers I photographed in Pali, Rajasthan when we visited India in January.

I drew him in coloured pencil as the first of several I intend to do so I've got a selection of works ready to submit to the jury next year for the UKCPS annual International Exhibition.  Normally I leave this till the last minute and have to do a rush job which isn't a good idea as the standard just gets better each year.   

I'm really trying hard to get Diamond Status with the UKCPS (pictures juried into their annual International Exhibition on 15 occasions)  I'm at Gold Status at the moment having had pictures in the exhibition for 11 years (10 is the Gold benchmark).   I need to 'up the ante' a bit ...

Anyway, I digress.

Canterbury Society of Art staged an early Summer Exhibition last week at a local school in Whitstable whilst it was closed for half-term.    I stewarded the exhibition on the first Saturday and footfall was really slow as this is a new venue for the Society and I think word hadn't really got around ... I don't know how things went later in the week but when I went to collect my two entries I was given just one back ... this one sold on the penultimate day so that was a lovely surprise ... although it means I'm back at square one having no coloured pencil works in the bag!




05\06: Black Lab and Blogger Comments

OK ... firstly apologies to those people who have been kind enough to comment on my posts but then haven't seen their comments posted.

I am no longer receiving emails alerting me to new comments being left and I'm not really in the habit of checking Blogger daily to check whether new comments are awaiting modification.    I've been onto the Blogger Team's own Blog and it seems this is problem for many Blogger users.   

One Blogger has posted this 'temporary' solution so I'll try it with this post and see whether I get email alerts again

OK, folks, I think I've found a work-around that's really easy! After you write a post and publish it, click like you want to write a comment - you could even leave a simple "TEST" comment, then CLICK the NOTIFY ME of followup comments box. You should then start getting all the comments sent to your email box. And apparently, from something I read in the help forum, this is a temporary problem Blogger is trying to fix (but I'm not holding my breath...) Does anyone else wish they'd public a phone number so you could reach someone who works there?

I may have mentioned I wasn't really happy with the way the black lab was turning out and, last night when I was tired and should have known better, I decided to do a sketchy scribbled background.   Ooooopps!   I don't normally touch my pencils/pastels in the evenings but ... seemed like a good idea at the time ..

I spent an hour this morning lifting some of the pencil off with BluTack but I've left some colour there as I think it does 'lift' the dog a little.    Now I really have finished with it ... He's propped up in the corner of my room looking balefully at me ... don't think he likes what I've done!

 

Friday, 1 June 2018

01/06: Black Lab - Coloured Pencil on Dark Pastelmat

I've spent a couple of hours on the black lab drawing this afternoon.     Its approx. 12" x 16" so slow going in coloured pencil - I'm using anthracite coloured pastelmat as the support.

It isn't turning out quite as I wanted but I'm liking it a little better now that more detail is being put in.

The mount is just resting on top so I can see how much further I need to take the chest fur.   Its one I've used for practising with my mount cutter - hence all the cuts and holes in it.

The photos are taken on different camera settings as it was rainy/cloudy earlier.   Looking at them now on screen I think the colour of the first one is more tru to the original but I guess they'll both look different on viewers' different computers/phones anyway

Its a nightmare trying to photograph black isn't it?




01/06: Yorkshire Terrier - Chico. Finished

Its been a busy week but I managed to finish the pastel portrait of Chico.

I've darkened his fur and smoothed out/softened some of his curls.     I've never seen him with his ears raised.    I think my concerns about not having his colouring right are based on the fact I'm normally looking down on him and the fur on his back is black/grey.   He doesn't have any dark hairs on his face or chest.

Because it will be travelling out to the Canaries with me in hand luggage, I've had to put Chico's portrait into a mount/frame that will fit my cabin bag and the only ones I have in the right size are black/white.    I would have preferred to put him in a cream/burgundy mount with a wooden frame but ... if Chico's owner doesn't like the colour scheme he can change the frame later.



Looking at it on the screen, I can see area I'd like to tweak but its staying firmly in the frame or I'll be in danger of overworking it!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Yorkshire Terrier... pastel on pastelmat paper

On Wednesday evening we returned to the UK after 5 weeks at our home in the Canaries.    The weather has been strange there - it really hasn't settled into the Canarian Summer you'd expect by end April.  In fact, the temperatures in England have been higher than the Canaries on many days.   But we had a great time.

We have a really busy 3½ weeks here before we travel to Kenya to celebrate my (21st) birthday doing a 3-camp safari.    Well part of that is true anyway!

I made a start on a portrait of a Yorkie (Chico) which I need to take back to the Canaries in July.   I photographed the dog myself but in my photos he appears lighter in colour than how I perceive him in real life so I'm a bit torn ... do I darken the coat or leave it alone?    This is the result of a few hours yesterday and today using pastels on pastelmat.   I work mostly in coloured pencil these days so it was a pleasure to get back to pastels which enable me to work much faster.  Its a 'quick and nasty' photo as I'd lost the light by the time I remembered to take the picture.

He will be 'tweaked' over the next few days but I need a break from all that unruly hair/coat .. there's a bit of artistic license around the eyes as normally its impossible to see them because of his heavy fringe


This evening I dropped off a couple of pictures for inclusion in the Canterbury Society of Art's Exhibition at a local school in Whitstable.    What a great idea to utilise the empty building whilst the kids are on half term.  The school is in the centre of town and opens up its playground area as an overflow carpark during school holidays to generate income.   We're hoping the footfall will be good as lots of people will use the car parking facility and its coming up to holiday season in 'fashionable' Whitstable.     Sadly the forecast is for thunderstorms for the first few days which may inhibit visitors though.