Thursday, 28 December 2017

28 December. Where did 2017 disappear to?

I haven't done any artwork since June, hence no Blog Posts for 6 months.

We have spent most of the last 3 months on Fuerteventura, having bought another apartment to put on Long Term rent to enable us to earn a Euro income to counter any currency fluctuations during the Brexit proceedings.   The apartment needed lots of work - a total refurb in fact, so that has occupied our time.     All finished now and we have a 'holiday let' in residence till 1st January and our long-term tenant moves in after that.

We came back to England for Christmas and New Year (which was/will be spent quietly) and then we're off to India for just over 3 weeks in January.  

I have a few days before I need to think about packing a case so I thought I'd try to get a coloured pencil piece done for submission to the UK Coloured Pencil Society's Annual Exhibition which will be held in Stratford on Avon 2 to 11 May.    The deadline for submission of entries is 11 February so if I don't get something finished before we leave for India I'll miss the boat.  

I had decided not to bother this year because of our time constraints but last year I achieved Gold Status with the Society, having had work juried into 10 annual exhibitions so it would be silly not to try for Diamond status (entries accepted into 15 annual exhibitions).   The standard of work just gets better and better each year, with entries coming from all around the World so I probably won't get past the jury but .... nothing ventured, nothing gained as THEY say!

I do work quite quickly with coloured pencils - unlike many of my fellow cps artists.   If I can't finish a drawing within a few days I tend to overwork it and spoil it so I aim to have this finished at the weekend and then will see if I think it makes the grade.   

Whilst looking through my photos from last year in India I came across a few characters I thought at the time I'd like to draw .. this young girl was one of them.    I started this after lunch today so soon ran out of natural daylight.  The photos are poor as a result and I have a horrible feeling that when I see the picture in natural light tomorrow I will realise that I've been OTT with the colours I've used.   They look ok in this light but the flash camera has accentuated some of the mauves and light pinks - it may be one for the bin tomorrow morning.

Its coloured pencil on pastelmat paper and size is 16" x 12"

 As usual, I drew the eyes in first.   If they go wrong I don't bother carrying on.   Then I put the first layer of white pencil onto her scarf and started on the facial skin tones

 This is taken with flash camera and really is a poor photograph.  All the light colours have picked up 'glare'  - but I just wanted to record how far I'd got by 3.30pm.   I'm not good at keeping track of hours worked but reckon this took around 2 hours.

There's still a long way to go, obviously, but at least I've got my backside into gear and made a start on something and I'm actually enjoying being back at the drawing board.


  1. What a pleasure seeing your work again Sue!! I've missed seeing it. LOVE the way this portrait is coming along and look forward to your next post. I usually finish my portraits very fast.. 2-3 days...unfortunately I find needed changes after matting them... So I try not to mat and frame for a few days after until I know for sure! your work is outstanding !!!! Happy And Healthy New Year to you and your family!!!

  2. awww, thanks Hilda. I'm just happy to have picked up a pencil and started work again. The longer I left it the more confidence I lost. It doesn't really matter if this one ends up in the bin as I will have 'broken the ice' and got back to work. I'm hoping to get lots more reference photos during our Indian tour to add to me overflowing 'to do' folders!

    Hope 2018 will be a great year for you and your family and I hope to catch up with all your posts soon.

  3. happy new year to you both there :)

    and its good to see you picking up the pencils again :) The skin tones are looking good on screen

  4. Hi Jennifer. Happy New Year to you, John (and Sky of course).
    Thanks for commenting ... have to say the skintones look cr*p on my screen - I'll get better pics tomorrow. Cheers


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