Thursday, 25 October 2012


Couldn't think of a title today

It seems we've been running round like headless chickens the past few weeks with injured Mother-in-Law, sick horse etc., but hopefully life is returning to some semblence of order and I'm really going to get stuck into the commission work.   My order book is now full till Christmas with a couple of non-urgent pictures maybe being finished in January.

We've just bought a new camera - another Panasonic, model FZ200.  I do love my old Panasonic FZ20 but this newer version has so many more features and is just faster/slicker with a more powerful zoom facility.   Friends will know I'm not technically minded and need cameras/computers to be fairly idiot-proof but I think I'll soon feel comfortable with the new beastie.  I took some pictures of the brown collie portrait in poor light this morning and didn't have to make any adjustments in PaintNet - so that's a huge bonus!

Spookily, the camera has face recognition.  We experimented this morning - registered David's face and then included him randomly(!!) in a few photographs and the camera identified him and popped his name up on screen.  Not sure how useful this facility is but its one of very many options that I'll probably never get round to learning about/using properly.  I've loaded the manual/operating instructions onto my computer so must make an effort to read a little every day.   Only 220 pages to plough through ..

Here's the brown collie - I'm waiting to hear if my client is happy with colouring etc and then the final whiskers will be added and the portrait despatched.   This shows the portrait at the size ordered - my 'mid' size and how it will sit in the mount.

As usual, the portrait is completed on a larger sheet of paper (I'm using heavyweight Fisher 400 sanded support here) so if the client wishes, they can use a larger mount/frame.  Same size portrait but with more background/space.   Gives a slightly different look/feel to the portrait but of course, will required a bigger (more expensive) frame and take up more wall space - so I'll wait to hear the verdict

In the meantime, you may remember my recent post about the hedgehog thug whose behaviour was tempting me to nominate him for an ASBO.    I decided to set him a challenge.  I blocked one of the 'doors' again using the anti-seagull spikes and held the strip in position by pushing a full water tray up against it.
Thought he'd enjoy a mini-assault course - a kind of hedgehog triathlon!    cunning eh???

He didn't show up yesterday evening, the only visitor was a weeny small hedgehog who was terribly well behaved - went in and out of the correct doorway and ate tidily ... but he was very small and needs to put on some weight quickly before the Winter sets in and he has to hibernate.

This was the sight that met me this morning ....

so the sneaky little blighter visited whilst we were in bed, rearranged my handiwork and left his calling card!  Kind of thumbing his nose at me I'd say :-)      

and an update on the triffid (Yucca) which appeared from nowhere and is growing rapidly in the garden.  The flower spikes look less red as they are growing/opening so I'm still no wiser as to what the final colour will be.    Its certainly keeping me in suspense and I just hope it flowers soon before the first frosts arrive.

I'm waiting for approval re. the layout of the next dog portrait.  Its a little tricky as I've photographed the main subject (in order to get the detail I need) but there will be small cameo pictures of the client's previous 2 dogs and the ref. pictures are small so not much detail available.  As soon as we've agreed on the composition I'll be working on that - all black/white collies in pastel.

But this afternoon I'm making a start on a 2 legged subject which is being completed in pencil - its some time since I've worked in graphite so am looking forward to it ... I'll stay much cleaner that's for sure :-)


Jan/ said...

Ooooh! Your brown collie portrait looks great! The colors are so rich and the fur looks so pettable.

Thanks also for the info on your camera - I'll definitely check it out.

Can't help you with your hedgehog as we don't have them but he really does seem to be thumbing his nose (or giving you another one of his fingers! lol)

OK, whip out - get busy on all those commissions!

Sue Clinker said...

Thanks Jan
The camera is same size/shape as my old one so thats a comfort. The controls are in different places and it has many more features but in terms of photographing my art its a joy to be able to set the white balance towards amber/red/green/blue to compensate for lighting conditions. I could only tweak red/blue on the old one.

I will make a big effort to master one or more functions each day LOL

Jo said...

Met someone at the doctors who also draws in pencil, not in colour though. She had an iPad with her and showed me some of her drawings. She was good.

For me, I use a very simple camera. Can't deal with anything very complicated.

Love the dog. Looking forward to the final with the whiskers and such.

Sue Clinker said...

Yep, you meet some strange people in doctors' surgeries LOL ... not all artists are strange I guess

No idea how to operate an iPAD :-(

Jo said...

I assume they are not that much different to a computer. But it was nice that she could carry all her pictures around with her.

Katherine Thomas said...

Isnt that fun how the matting and framing affect the piece? It's also very challenging to try and guess what kind of mat and frame to use that will appeal to somebody! This dog portrait is spectacular, truly!

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

cheeky cheeky hedgehog :p

love all of the colours in the collie, the browns are never only brown and you did a great job with it :) hmmm think i prefer the smaller matt, the close up works better for me

Sue Clinker said...

Thank you Katherine. I loved all the colours in his 'brown' fur.

Two small hedgehogs have visited tonight Jennifer, still waiting for the thug to show up!
Client has asked for the smaller size mount (as per original request) but I like to ask the question - just in case!