Friday, 22 October 2010


Because we have a busy few days planned, David decided that today should be the day to organise me and the pictures that I want to display at the Horsebridge Gallery, Whitstable in November.  

He has been stripping my studio walls of pictures and sorting out labels etc.  My 'daydreaming tiger' which won Reserve Best in Show at the UKCPS International exhibition in Stamford last month arrived back here today, and the tiger I recently completed in pastels was collected from the framer today.  As usual Tony (from 'Picture This' at Birchington, Kent) has done a wonderful job but I was surprised how large the finished picture is ... and how heavy it is!!   I seem to have mostly cat pictures but probably won't have time to add any more dogs or horses to the collection.  Lets hope there are lots of cat lovers in Whitstable around mid-November (domestic and wild cats).

So my plans to work on the coloured pencil portraits were postponed until tomorrow afternoon but I did manage to (almost) complete the snow leopard - despite all the interruptions!

A few more WIP pictures:   I'm never quite sure whether its best to show the pics in reverse order (ie latest pic first, or t'other way round)

This photo was taken last night and turned out very dark  ... but although not accurate, I preferred the darker background and so I changed it this morning

As you can see these are all photographed at different times of day, in different light conditions but I think the colours shown here are pretty accurate

This next photo looks a little too 'blue'  but I wanted to photograph the picture before I sprayed it with fixative.  I'm not a fan of commercial fixatives as they really 'kill' the vibrancy of the pastels at times, but I'm using soft pastels rather than pastel pencils on this leopard and I'm not comfortable about framing it without 'fixing' it first.  

Finally this evening I photographed the leopard with the mount and frame I'll be using.  This is a single mount and I normally use double mounts with pastel works so I will be putting spacers between the picture and the mount to provide an 'escape route' for any stray pastel dust in the future.  The frame is a very simple brass one  which I had at home

I may re-photograph this tomorrow in better light - but you get the idea I hope:

This is the framed Tiger picture.   I really struggle to photograph pictures once they are behind glass as I always end up with me or something  else quite inappropriate being reflected in the glass.    This is the best I could do today, and it has muted the colours a bit

8 comments: said...

wow, you have been busy Sue, I love snow leopards and you have just got the staring gaze they always have down to a tee. I've been wanting to try pastels for so long and I'm pretty sure the technique is the same as for coloured pencils but I get it so messy, I'm amazed at how clean your portraits in pastel are, tell me your secret!

sue said...

Thanks Karie-ann.

This is one of the snow leopards I photographed last month at the rare species conservation centre (Sandwich, Kent)

Not quite sure how to answer that because I got incredibly messy with this one.

I prefer to use pastel pencils which give me more 'control' over my pictures, but this is a big picture so I just got stuck in with soft pastels which cover the ground quickly - and got really messy.

Pastels are so quick compared to coloured pencils. This was finished within 3 days - and they weren't full days. To do a coloured pencil picture this size would have taken me at least 3 weeks.

Vic said...

Love the snow leopard Sue...I can see the attraction in using pastels in relation to speed, will have to get mine out again and have a play.

Sunny said...

I don't know how you do it! It's incredible how you capture such realism especially the eyes and you can almost feel the softness of the fur.
Sorry to be behind with comments, hope to get caught up shortly.
☼ Sunny

Angela Finney said...

You depicted the snow leopard's expression so wonderfully. Incredible portrait, very beautiful, love the colors.

The framing really does the tiger justice!

So exciting to be in a gallery!

Dors said...

Absolutely stunning work Sue. I am speechless. Your Pastel work is amazing.

pett paintings said...

Your Snow Leopard is a beauty Sue I love it! the tiger looks stunning in that smart new frame I think the visitors to the art exhibition are in for a real treat and I hope they are inspired to open their wallets for you ..... they will be tempted for sure :-)

sue said...

Thanks for all your lovely comments. I'm so enjoying these pastel 'big cat' portraits but I do have to sell a few before long as I don't have much storage space at home.

Fingers crossed one for a good reception at the Horsebridge gallery in November.