Sunday, 2 May 2010


Thanks to everyone who has sent get well wishes to Richard, via emails or entries on his webpage Guestbook   Richard is still in a coma, two weeks after the accident but he has briefly opened his eyes, squeezed our hands etc., in response to our voices so things are moving in the right direction, albeit painfully slowly.  We have been warned it may be weeks or months before he 'wakes up' properly.   We currently visit the hospital every 2nd or 3rd day and in between times are trying to carry on as normally as possible.

The weather has been absolutely appalling in Kent today, with torrential rain and strong gusty wind all day.   Work in the garden is totally impossible so the poor blackbirds are having to leap around on the long grass looking for worms and generally 'rootling' as they love to do.   I can barely see their heads above the grass :o)

It has been very gloomy in my 'studio' but I've got a lot done on the picture for my farrier.  Rocky, his companion of 10 years sadly died recently and I was asked to draw him.   I'm not sure what breed/cross Rocky was but I think part Patterdale Terrier - I know he was a very hairy little chap so quite a challenge.    I started work on him a couple of days ago and really wanted to finish him today, but I suspect I will need to do more tweaking when I see the picture in good light.

I did take a few WIP photos - the colours may change slightly due to photos being taken at different times of day/lighting conditions.   The support is Sennelier Pastel Card and this 'dark blue' colour has a green tinge to it in 'real life'

I've sketched the outline in and tried to show the direction of hair  - a major task with this coat!    As usual I draw the eyes in first.

I can see lots of different colours in Rocky's coat, hence the 'underpainting' with lilac, various shades of ochre and pinks - these will tone down considerably once the detailed hair is drawn on top

At this stage I realised I'd made the underlying coat colour too 'yellow' - thats what happens when I draw in the evenings with overhead electric lights - and forget to turn the daylight lamps on to rectify the colour balance!


Grahame Butler said...

This is beautiful Sue, and great to see the WIP, I have just been asked to do a CP portrait of a French Bulldog, my first CP portrait commission so all info helps!! I hope your stepson is making good progress, Im so pleased my 3 sons have no interest in motor bikes...

K. T. Sparks said...

I love it! The dog portrait is going to make his owner sad but happy with joy to be able to look at it for years to come and the depth of the eyes are just lifelike!

sue said...

Thanks Grahame. Richard has ridden a motorbike for 11 years, and mountainbikes before that. I hate the things though!!

Well done on your French Bulldog commission. I look forward to watching your progress with cps - keep us updated won't you ..

Many thanks KT - Rocky had a wonderful nature and a very happy life. Just hope his owner thinks I've done him justice