Sunday, 25 February 2018

New Camera Nikon P900 ... more 'test' photos

Testing the new camera with sunset scenes

and some Moscovy Ducks

and the delightful Barbary Ground Squirrels (known locally as chipmunks).   They are a non-native species so a lot of people frown upon feeding them ... but they are so cute and very gentle.    Who can resist?   They can be found in the hills/rocks in various spots outside the main towns.

I was sitting on a rock and they had no hesitation in clambering onto my lap for special treats of monkey nuts and sunflower seeds.

and a couple of 'moon' shots.    These are hand held with no special equipment and I think the camera has coped pretty well despite not being steadied on a tripod.

I have a nasty cold at the moment so won't be taking the camera out for a few days.     Next Saturday there is a Grand Carnival Procession in Town which is always very colourful/noisy and on Sunday is another procession for the 'burning of the sardine' which ends up on the town beach with fireworks so the camera will really be tested fully then.

New Camera - Nikon P900

If I only post my  artwork on my Blog there will be even longer gaps than usual as we are at our home in the Canaries at the moment where I don't take my pencils.      I have a new camera.   Its possibly a retrograde step inasmuch as its another Bridge camera but when we were in India last month the guys driving the jeeps on our leopard 'safaris' were using these and getting really good close-ups that my 'better' camera just couldn't match.

So we've bought the Nikon P900 and I've been test-driving it out here where the weather is kinder so its easier to get out and about and not be bundled up in Winter clothing.

So far I'm happy with the performance so it looks like a keeper and my 'grander' camera and lens will be sold.

A trip to Oasis Park, Fuerteventura, which is a beautiful animal park, somewhere between a zoo and a safari park with lovely flora (cacti mainly) and well-kept, happy animals.

Friday, 9 February 2018

UKCPS - Annual International Exhibition entries

Well, yet again I'm a last minute merchant.     Deadline for entries for the Annual Exhibition is tomorrow - and we'll be out for the day, so I've just posted a couple of entries.

Sadly I know I've overworked the drawing of the young girl.    For some reason the light colours keep 'seeping' into the cork surface of the paper and 'dulling' down the picture.   This is the third time I've had the problem with coloured pencils on pastelmat - not sure if its a duff batch as I never used to have this problem.    I gave it a hefty spray with fixative and did my best to bring back the highlights and lighter tones but without much success.   I can't add any more pencil to the white areas so had to call it a day.

I was going to ditch this drawing and I did make a start on the drawing of a Bulbul bird I photographed in India and which David liked.   But birds aren't really 'my thing' and progress was slow and clearly I wasn't going to finish in time so back to plan A.

I've submitted her and lets see what happens - the standard of the exhibition entries is just soooo good these days that I know it doesn't stand a chance but I feel I have to try - in 11 years I've entered 10 times and had work accepted each time, earning me Gold Signature Status, so I would like to be in with a chance of getting my Platinum Signature Status in the next 5 years (work juried into 15 annual exhibitions).

Originally she was drawn to fit a larger mount/frame landscape orientation but I've reduced the size and made it a portrait orientation to show less background

and this is the Rajasthani farmer in his colourful turban

so that's it.   Its too late to worry about them now.     This should be a lesson to me to prepare months in advance to ensure I have work to submit.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

4 JANUARY - Couldn't resist .. just a few more tweaks!

I know I said I wasn't going to touch the drawing till back from India but the alternative was packing my case and I just couldn't get motivated - mainly as I was expecting to have to iron some tops and ironing doesn't feature high in my list of things I like doing.   I reckon I iron clothes no more than twice a year (under duress).

Anyway, I lifted out some of the background colour with good old Blue Tack and added different shades which I blended in by rubbing quite firmly with paper towel.   Pastelmat lends itself to blending this way rather than having to keep on layering. 

I managed to photograph it in reasonable daylight (during the one hour of sunshine we got today) and can now see from the photo that there are several areas I need to blend more carefully to tone them down further (using a cotton bud on the areas around the top of her headscarf.   Well, I really do plan to leave it alone for a while now

and here's the Indian man I started working on.

I'm looking forward to adding lots more detail in the folds of that colourful turban and then I can get back to the skintones and adjust them as necessary.   The whiskers and hairs are indented into the paper before colour was applied and the more layers of colour/darker tones I add, the more the indentations/white hairs will stand out. 

I got bored when I reached his ear and decided to start on the turban - that's why it looks a bit odd at the moment

Cropped down a bit ....

This is a paper I've never used before and the jury's still out ... It is a nice heavweight one but has more 'tooth' than I normally like.    But I'll persevere

As with our previous trips to India, I plan to write daily Blog posts and post some pictures along the way.  

Some days we won't have access to decent internet/wifi so posts may be a bit sporadic but if you'd like to check our progress the Blog location is:

Saturday, 30 December 2017

30 December: Fed up ... Finished?

That awful moment when you realise the background idea hasn't worked but can't do anything about it!

I've spent an hour trying to recover it but the paper is suffering ...

So this is it ... I'll leave it to one side for a couple of days before deciding whether to do anything more or to bin it

Happy Days!

Friday, 29 December 2017

29 December - Olavipe Girl, a little more progress

Well, we didn't get snow in Whitstable but its been very gloomy all day with squally winds and torrential rain.  Makes it difficult to draw, even with a daylight bulb in my tabletop lamp - its even harder to take decent photos

So here's what I got done today

This was after a couple of hours fiddling with skintones, adding another layer of colour to her scarf and colouring her top.

and then more colour/detail introduced to the scarf and top - although its mainly white, I can see pink/blue tones in the detail of the headscarf.  They are subtle and actually I don't think they show in this (poor) photo - but they're visible in real life. 

The photos really distort the image as they're taken with flash and in artificial light.    Fingers crossed that we get some sunshine in the next few days and I can post better pics.

I think this needs a bit of something in the background - in my photo the background is just a blur and it would be good if I can replicate that (backgrounds really aren't my thing but I think one is needed here).   Will need to build up courage for that!

I think in all this has taken around 5 hours so far, although I'm easily sidetracked.