Thursday, 10 June 2010


I started work today on the portrait of a beautiful chocolate lab who I'm told is full of mischief despite her sometimes sad expression. 

The portrait is intended as a present but I've been given permission to post WIP pics here.  So this is the first stage where I've drawn in her outline using umber/black/white pastel pencils and simply blocked in a few areas of shadow/highlight and fur direction.  I'm happy that the proportions are accurate now so work can begin in earnest - as usual, I'll point out that the portrait will go through one (or more) ugly stages along the way so bear with me :o)

Fisher 400 paper is a light sandy colour but its so gloomy here today the photograph has distorted the colour a bit.

On a slightly different tack ... we've declared war on the seagulls again! We have a very high aerial on the roof of our house which is a popular resting spot for seagulls - it is very close to the balcony doors in our bedroom and the novelty of being woken by screaming gulls at 3.30am has long since gone!! In addition the aerial is directly above our patio and when seagulls do what seagulls (and other birds) do ... the resulting mess right outside the patio doors is horrible. We did have anti-seagull spikes put on the aerial but the seagulls managed to twist the spikes so they face downwards and they carried on sitting on the aerial.

We had a lovely aerial man round this afternoon and he has re-sited the spikes and tied them more securely ...

so for the moment its Humans 1 -v- Seagull 0 .... but watch this space!


Pauline said...

Lovely start, your seagull sage made me chuckle

pett paintings said...

Good luck with the seagulls Sue living by the sea only has the one drawback and we both know what that is ;-(
I don't think you will need any luck with the portrait though it's already looking like a winner, I am thinking of buying some Fisher 400 to try as I'm nearly through the last batch of pastelmat, any good tips for price busters?

sue said...

Thanks Kay - I think the seagulls had their revenge. Our patio doors were absolutely covered with seagull s**t!!! they must have organised a flypast and bombing session... David went out with hosepipe and broom this morning and its all clean again ... for now!

Anyway - Fisher 400:
You can buy here via Tim Fisher's website

I bought mine from Jackson's last time but there's only pennies in it so I guess it depends how much you want and what the postage will be. SAA don't stock it but I notice they've started selling UART sanded paper which is similar. I had samples from the USA in various weights and was impressed with it - but it works out more expensive than Fisher.

Janet Pantry said...

This is looking promising, Sue, love those doleful eyes already! I look forward to seeing it progress. Had to laugh at your seagull story, tho it isn't funny for you :( We have a similar problem with pigeons here, a real pain.