Wednesday, 8 March 2017


We got back from India on Sunday - having had a fabulous time despite the VERY hot temperatures which were in the high 30s every day (nearly 100degrees)

Sadly I managed to contract another cold (3rd this Winter) which has 'gone to my chest' so I'm coughing and wheezing and feeling a bit yuk still ... I've had it for more than a week though so it should be on its way out soon.

Its back to reality now.    Exhibitions are looming and I learned that one of my entries was juried into the UKCPS International Open Exhibition and I'm very pleased and relieved about that as it means I have had entries juried into the annual exhibition for 10 years out of 11 since I became a member of the Society and this year I will achieve GOLD Signature status!   Yeayyy!   I was a tad worried as I really hadn't done anything special for this year - I ran out of time and resorted to reworking some older practice pieces.  

The exhibition is smaller this year - just one floor of the Gallery is being used so the number of entries was cut back and the standard has got much, much higher (so I'm doubly pleased to have sneaked in with one entry)

I have a commission to crack on with but am still awaiting good photos so ..... 

I'm also exhibiting with the Made In Whitstable Group over the Easter week and have to find around 12 - 15 pictures to fill 'my' wall space at the Horsebridge Gallery in Whitstable.     I'm so bored with all the pictures hanging on my studio walls that I thought I'd get my backside into gear and do a few 'cute' puppy/kitten type pictures - just to sell! ....

Having been out all morning I finally sat in front of the computer around 3pm to look through my folders of cat & dog ref. photos and I came across some photos I'd taken of a Herring Gull on our roof a couple of years back.    I don't normally draw birds but .... why not?     I live by the sea and gulls are a common sight here in Whitstable so I decided to give them a whirl even though they aren't particularly pretty.

The first one took me two hours, start to finish .... so that's a real bonus.     I've now outlined 3 others and put in the blue backgrounds.  I'm on a roll !

I'm working in pastel on Fisher 400 paper - which is a golden coloured sandpaper that just eats pastel pencil.    The background is soft pastel.

I have lots of these double mounts which are white with a black 'inner' and suitable for A4 sized drawings.   With commissions I tend to work 'bigger' so the mounts have been redundant till now   It will be easy (and cheap) to find frames this size to suit the pictures.

I've used more of the darker blue pastel for the background on the next 3 pictures ... which I'm regretting now as I quite like the green/blue colour of the original drawing.   The ref. photos are taken of the gull sitting on the roof of our house so the background is blue sky (and it was a perfect Summers day).

However the green blue colour (above) kind of looks like a nice sea colour which I prefer.

Too late now ...

I used two shades of Soft pastel on the sandpaper and then an old paintbrush to push the colour into the paper surface

Actually, the blue background isn't quite this 'blue' in real life but the photos were taken in artificial light so hopefully I can get better photos when I next work on these (Friday)

This is the last picture where I haven't used the brush yet to distribute the colour


Jan said...

Congratulations on your Gold Status! Was hoping you'd post some drawings today & you did! Sue, I think these are just what the doctor ordered for your Made in Whitstable exhibition! Like you, I prefer the background color of the first painting but the others are just as good! You may not think the gulls are 'pretty' but they're very interesting and not ugly AT ALL! With Whitstable being a coastal town, they're very, very fitting!

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jan and thanks for commenting.

I may be able to lift some of the darker blue pastel out of the background if I don't like it once the gulls are completed ... but I've already given the paper a light spray of fixative to stop the pastel flaking everywhere.

The dark blue is much more true to the ref photos ... but I'll just go with the flow and see what looks right/wrong.

I'm just chuffed that I can do these so quickly. I have enough different refs to be able to draw(perhaps) a dozen gull pictures as I'm rather hoping to sell them cheaply so perhaps they'll be bought as pairs or groups!


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

congrats on getting into the exhibition again :) hope you are starting to feel better

love the gulls :) the eye looks wonderful and the feather texture is perfect. they get such a bad rap fo being pests, and while they can be, in a lot of cases its because people feed them or leave rubbish everywhere

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jennifer. Yep, I'm feeling a bit better but mines only a cold (temporary) so I've got no right to moan compared to what you're going through - you're an inspiration!

Anyway, Yep, I kind of agree about the gulls. They make me laugh with their antics (have you watched them 'worm dancing' hopping up and down on grass to attract worms/bugs to the surface), or listened to two of them having a 'quiet' chat at the top of their voices - and I love it when they do that sort of 'gull laugh' thinggy! But generally we try not to encourage them in the garden as they make such a mess - we don't throw food out for them. They still manage to cr*p over our windows most days though!.

The main attraction in doing this 'series' is that I can stick to a restricted colour palette and just concentrate on putting together a batch of similar/complementary drawings which might attract people to buy one or more at a seaside resort! Time will tell. If this fails I'll go back to puppies and kittens

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

makes me laugh when I see a bunch of them tapping away at the ground, look like a dance troupe :p we have a lot of gulls in the area and they are always dive bombing the rooks until the buzzards show up

hopefully they sell and you can do something a little different from what you normally do :) (nothing wrong with sticking to what sells, but change can be good)

Jo said...

Congratulations on the Gold status Sue. I am sure you are chuffed. I love the seagull.

Not been doing a lot of visiting lately, my bad, sorry. Catching up a bit now.