Monday, 12 July 2010


We got home from our mini break in the early hours of Thursday but spent the next 3 days visiting Richard in Hospital and catching up with the Mums etc.  We took advantage of yesterday's beautiful weather and walked along the beach to Whitstable where we spent a leisurely couple of hours and David got to sample a couple of the beers on offer from the Whitstable Brewery who have a clubhouse on the beach and a 'garden' overlooking the sea.   Perfick!!

Anyway, back to work with a vengeance now ...  I have several portraits lined up and most of them are two legged subjects at the moment!  This is the portrait I'm currently working on.  You may remember I recently showed Work in Progress pictures of a beautiful golden retriever called Bouncer.   This portrait has been commissioned by the same client and I'm using Van Gogh lightfast coloured pencils on Clairefontaine Pastelmat (light grey)

I've stopped here to check a few things with my client.   The hair colour differs slightly in the various reference photos so at this stage I need a bit of guidance on that before continuing onto the black outfit - don't want to risk smudging the black pencil with my drawing (right) hand.

I took a couple of work in progress photos along the way  but in artificial light so the colours are slightly wrong.    This was stage I after approx 3 hours work - simply outlining 'Nana' and  building up skin and hair tone colours

and after another couple of hours the skintones are a little more refined and the colours stronger (though my camera seems to have picked up on the redtones too much here !

Whilst waiting for feedback I'll probably outline the next portrait which is a double 'person' portrait - again it will be coloured pencil on Pastelmat and I'll probably use light grey again as it is a very pleasing off white shade which makes the selection of mount/frame easier I think.


  1. At first glance I thought it was Vera Lynn. It's looking great.

  2. Hi Pauline
    Thanks for commenting.

    I'm using Zest-it (sparingly) to blend here but as this is a commission I decided not to use watercolour pencils as I'm not sure about their lightfast ratings (I only have the old Derwent range). I'm using Van Gogh pencils as recommended by Katherine Tyrrell - they have excellent lightfast results. I find the pencils less waxy/smooth than Prismacolors or Colorsoft but not unpleasant to use

  3. Coming along great. Love nice soft features and the eyes are lovely.

    Had a little chuckle at the " Perfick" Glad you had a good break and I hope Richard is improving.

  4. Thanks Dors

    Love the latest profile photo by the way!

    I used to enjoy watching David Jason playing Pa Larkin in the TV series (in fact I enjoy most of his character roles and, of course, the catchphrases)

  5. Hi Sue and welcome back, I hope you had a lovely time whilst away.
    This is fabulous work, I find skintones quite difficult so am in awe here :D

  6. Hi Sue, yes this is looking great -I like how you are doing her hair. Portraits are tricky so I can well appreciate your skills on this. I've never tried Van Gogh pencils - interesting, I know Katherine's impressed with them. I look forward to updates on this one ;)


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