Friday, 21 June 2013


Yesterday's weather at Dover and Calais was grey and very foggy.   The Ferry crossing was good but photo opportunities were limited.

I hadn't realised its Le Mans weekend. For those who don't follow motorsports (me)  Le Mans in the Pays de la Loire region of France has hosted the famous race since 1923.   It is a 24 hours endurance race for Sports Cars

I am not a 'car' person, considering them a necessary evil but even I enjoyed looking at some of the fabulous cars which joined us on the crossing.     Seems lots of boys were taking their 'toys' to Le Mans and we saw vintage Jags, Porsches etc.      Parked right next to us on the Ferry was a modern car which attracted a lot of attention from a crowd of men all enviously ogling it.      I played it cool of course, doesn't do to let the 'show-off' know we noticed the vehicle LOL     According to David it was a Mercedes SLS AMG which I believe would have set the owner back around £150,000+   (obscene isn't it)!!  

On the art front I can show first stages of Scout, a lab/retriever who was commissioned by Reggie's owner in Singapore.  You may remember Reggie was commissioned as a surprise gift.   His owner loved the portrait and asked me to do this portrait of Scout as a gift for a friend of hers.     Its to be a surprise and getting refs has been a problem as they have to be obtained secretly.    I was shown a gorgeous ref of Scout as a puppy but she was sleeping so the photo didn't really show her face.    Others were taken 'full on' which isn't the best angle to show off a dog's face (fun though it may be).   So, although this reference was the best compromise - still a little 'full frontal' which makes the nose look large - but obviously this is Scout's personality showing through

Pastels on Fisher 400 sanded paper (my poor fingertips - 2 portraits on sanded paper on the drawing board right now).

As always, eyes drawn first as I can't bear looking at empty sockets LOL.   I'm flitting all over the place with this one - I wanted to put the nose in place to make sure I had the proportions right before moving onto the fur detail ... then I fancied a change of colour so the tongue appeared ...

and fur detail gradually being built up.

I will be working on this portrait and the Springer Spaniel portrait next week.   We have family visiting for the weekend so I'm not likely to get any work done on these for a couple of days

Have a great weekend


  1. Dang! Had a whole long comment and got an error!

    The portrait looks good - I like the added color and know the recipient will be pleased!

    Sorry the weather was foggy as I was hoping for photos. Did you end up having the fancy meal on the ferry?

  2. £150,000 quite a price tag. I love Mercedes though. Saw my first one, a sports car, in Paris when I was about 18 and fell in love with it.

    Sorry the weather wasn't much cop, but hope you enjoyed dinner and France itself. Did you get lots of plonk?

    Love the dog.

  3. I presume you will now be buying one of those super cars with the proceeds from your paintings!!! How lovely to see so many beautiful cars. Your doggey portrait is so lovely, must have a go with my pastels one day soon. Have a lovely weekend

  4. Hi Jan
    As usual I had the camera to hand but the fog was really thick most of the time - I got a few pics but nothing very exciting.

    The crossings were both good, despite the captain advising us that we'd be travelling cautiously and sounding the foghorns periodically.

    Yes we had a good 3 course meal and a bottle of wine in the Brasserie on Board the Ferry. Waited on hand and foot so the 90+ minutes homeward crossing flew by.

  5. Hi Jo
    Yes we got lots of plonk!! One of the great advantages of living on the Kent coast is its proximity to France with duty free shopping!

    Meat and vegetables are more expensive in France but we often buy 'odds & s*ds' like paper serviettes and kitchen items there - great choice and good prices

  6. Hi Polly
    I don't have a car any more. When we moved to Whitstable and 'retired' from the rat race we went down to one car. We normally go out together and if David's out with the car I can walk to local shops/beach quite quickly.

    My last car was a lovely Mazda MX5 in garnet red (burgundy colour) with cream leather interior. It was SOOOOO pretty! But it just sat on the drive doing nothing for weeks at a time so it had to go.

    I wouldn't want one of these souped up cars that we saw - the doors open upwards and outwards for heaven sakes - need to be a contortionist to get into the bl**dy things! But I do like looking at the classic cars though - cars that look like cars and not sci-fi inventions.

    Yep, get your pastels out. I'll be looking in to see what you've done with them :-)

  7. i dont think i will ever understand why people spend so much on cars, really not a car person lol

    Scout looks like he is a great dog and you are doing a wonderful job with the portrait

  8. Funny, Matt was looking at some of the Le Mans cars on TV and saying if he ever wins a lottery, it will be an Aston Martin he buys.


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