Friday, 8 July 2011


I've switched from coloured pencil to pastel for the next two pictures.   I made a start yesterday on a horse portrait which isn't required for a few weeks but he has some intricate markings on his face so I'd like to really take my time and work on this in small stages (using grids constantly to check placement of markings).  I think its safe to post the initial stages as he isn't really recognisable yet.

Here I've outlined the horse using Derwent Burnt Umber and Titanium White pastel pencils, marking the most prominent contours of his face - these lines will blend in and disappear once the base layer of colour is applied.  As always I had to draw in the eye (I'm not an artist who can leave the eye till last as I need to build a rapport with the subject and the eyes really do add personality).  I then blocked in the light grey muzzle area but this will be refined in later stages.   I'm using Clairefontaine Pastelmat for this portrait in the shade they describe as Brown but which has a decidedly pink tinge.

As a little light relief I also started on a cat portrait which is evolving as I go along.   It is based on a mixture of reference photos and will probably change constantly  .....

I'm working on Fisher 400 sanded paper and the background has been suggested using a combination of soft pastels.  The background is based on a cat photographed looking around a door I think but I've turned this into a suggestion of curtain/material ... but it may change again.   The eyes are not as dark as my camera has suggested here - but there will be lots of tweaks and changes along the way.

So ... I had a productive afternoon yesterday but may not have time to work on them today .....  we are going back to Fuerteventura for 12 days tomorrow evening.  My stepdaughter and family will be house-sitting here while we are away so I'm spending the day washing/cleaning etc (as you do) and tomorrow will be taken up with visiting parents and my (retired) horse - it was all arranged as a last minute thing so I'm really looking forward to it .. especially as the weather is a bit grim here at the moment.

As mentioned in a previous post about Fuerteventura, the islanders find something to celebrate most months and July is no exception.   In Corralejo (at the North of the island where we have our house) 16th July is The saint's day of Señora del Carmen, the patron saint of Corralejo.  There will be a festival of dance, music and gastronomy with processions through the town.  The locals head to the beach and take to the sea in beautifully decorated fishing boats - lots of noise and colour.

Fuerteventura is reknown for its 'wind' and is a favourite destination for windsurfers and kiteboarders.   The 26th Windsurf & Kite boarding World Championship will take place from 22/07 - 01/08/2011 at the South end of the island.   We've never watched this event (and indeed will miss it this year) but I'm told its quite spectacular with top class surfers from around the world competing in various disciplines.   I'm more of a 'dipping my toes into the very edge of the water' person I'm afraid!


Dors said...

Hi Sue. nice to see you back in full swing with the blogging.
I am looking forward to seeing the horse and cat come to life as you do so well.

I don't need to say have a great time in I know you always do. xx

hmuxo said...

I love using pastelbord. Very smooth with beautiful results. I am looking forward to the Horse finished...I hope you show us your WIP...its like us being there with you! Love the cat as well. He has a beautiful face.