We've had some amazing weather here in Whitstable over the last 24 hours. Sleet yesterday afternoon and snow throughout the evening, coupled with gusts of wind which blew the snow sideways. We had more snow showers this morning but that was followed by light drizzle and tonight we barely have any snow left (not a bad thing methinks).
This is what the snow looked like yesterday evening as it raced past the security light on our bicycle shed. Obviously the 'special effect' is caused as the camera was hand held and not on a tripod, but you can tell that the wind was blowing the snow in sideways at a great rate of knots :
and when the wind dropped a bit, the snow just swirled round and round making pretty patterns. In case you're wondering, the strange objects on the top right of these photos are the feet of my little wooden man who sits on the shed roof!
and ..... I love to cook (David loves to eat) so my oven isn't just decorative - it gets well used. I always wipe it clean after every use but inevitably it gets greasy/dirty and needs periodic 'proper' cleans. It was David's turn to clean the oven and he was overjoyed to get a flyer through the letterbox yesterday advertising the services of an oven cleaning company at very reasonable rates .... who on earth would want to clean ovens for a living???
Anyway, he phoned the guy who had just had a cancellation and fitted us in this afternoon. I had a pristine oven up till an hour ago when I baked a home made chicken/mushroom pie and roast potatoes/veggies.
I'm so pleased with this chap's work I think we'll book him regularly - worth every penny! He was a professional chef but gave up the work to get more family time. Oven cleaning was a major part of his training and he enjoys doing it (!!!???).
I spent around 5 hours on this drawing today, not that it looks like it. Because it is so large (A2), and done in coloured pencil, it takes an age to cover large areas like the boy's blue jumper with cross hatching - I wish I could employ somebody to sit next to me simply sharpening pencils. Its so important to keep very sharp points on pencils to assist colour layering - but using textured papers just eats the pencils. Never mind! I could speed up the colouring process by using solvent to dissolve the wax pigment but I'm trying to avoid that process with this picture - once solvent has been used it becomes more difficult to adjust colours etc.
When I got bored with shading the jumper I made a start on the second family member (dad) - just working on the darkest/lightest values in his face and hair. He has been drawn from a separate ref photo and fitted into the grouping so I have to improvise a little with his clothing etc ....
My client knows I've started work on the portrait but I won't send him any WIP pics till I'm a bit further advanced as there is a lot of refining to be done on the facial features yet. Yet again, I left it too late in the day to get a decent photo in daylight so the colours aren't very accurate. Just wanted to prove that I am hard at work LOL
I shall write myself a note reminding me to take a progress photo mid afternoon so I can get a truer representation of the colours etc!!