Friday, 22 March 2019

TOBY (finished)?

I did a bit more tweaking - and added whiskers and I think I've had enough of Toby now.

He'll sit in the corner of my room for a while before I sign the picture and seal the mount/frame.

with mount

photographed at a bad angle ... but this is the frame he'll be in.   I've had the frame/mount haning around for years so its nice to finally use it.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

19/3: TOBY - cat in coloured pencil WIP 2

I photographed the progress pics yesterday but didn't have time to upload them to Blogger ... this morning my computer could not read the card and suggested I reformat it ... I did, and lost the photos in the process.   So here are more I took this morning.  (Got to love computers)!!

I stopped work at this point yesterday as I needed to think about what to do  about the white fur on his back.   The area to the top left of the drawing is actually white fur but it looks a little weird.   I think I might make him 'tabby' in that section.  

When I started the drawing I thought it would be something to submit to the judges in respect of this year's UKCPS International Exhibition but if it doesn't get past the judges I would give the drawing of Toby to his 'mum', my neighbour as a gift.   She's in her 90s and has recently taken up art herself but I don't think she's attempted pet portraits yet!   Obviously, she'll know his back is white rather than tabby but I hope to get away with some artistic licence as the focus should be on his face

He has lovely long whiskers but I won't add those till I've finished tweaking the rest of his fur. That's why I've left quite a lot of room at the bottom of the picture - whisker space!     Its hard getting white whiskers over the other colours but I'm hoping my Luminance white pencil will live up to its hype (recently bought but not really tested yet)!

This is the mount I'll be using - its just laid over the drawing at the moment but I think it highlights the area I'm concerned about.  The white fur doesn't really show up even though I've used greys to add some shadows - so it looks as though the drawing is unfinished.    Seeing it on screen has convinced me now to add some darker fur to it.

Monday, 18 March 2019

18/03: Toby - Neighbour's cat in Coloured Pencil on Pastelmat

With the upsets of the last year, and now all the travelling that David (he of the itchy feet) has been organising, I've not really settled back to the drawing board in 2019.

We aren't really going to be here for any length of time till May and so I've got a couple of commissions lined up for then but am still not taking on  any new ones (apart from 'returning' clients).

With a bit of 'whip cracking' from an artist e-friend (thanks Jan) I've started another cp drawing yesterday afternoon.   I'm a Gold Signature Status Member of the UK Coloured Pencil Society having had work juried into their annual International Exhibitions on more than 10 occasions so I'm  conscious that if I am going to achieve my Diamond status I need to work on some entries to put to the jury for the next few years .   Although its the UK society, membership is open to artists from around the world and the standards just keep going up and up ... its getting tougher each year

I've got lots of 'nearly completed' works in my studio but nothing really grabs me ... I usually work better when adrenaline kicks in so I'll probably be burning the midnight oil 2 days before entries close  putting finishing touches to several drawings ...

Enough excuses!!

Toby is my 92 year old neighbour's cat.   He's a rescue and he's really fallen on his feet as he's probably the most spoiled moggy in the County.   He's quite timid and usually runs when I talk to him which is a shame as I love cats.      He was snoozing on our patio one day and I managed to take a couple of photos of him looking suspiciously at me/the camera before he took off.     I have a square mount/frame in my studio which I bought years ago and have never used so I thought I'd use Toby as the subject to fill the frame.

I haven't drawn a cat for quite a while and would normally work in Pastel rather than Coloured Pencil but we'll see how this goes.

I'm using Faber Castell Polychromos pencils on white Pastelmat paper (which is a creamy white, not a bright white).    I'll probably be using a white  Luminance pencil later to add some highlights but this will be pure coloured pencil.

I didn't photograph this till late afternoon when the daylight had gone so its all a bit 'grey'.   I'll get better pics further down the line.

He's too pretty to be a male cat I think.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

19 FEB: Time to Stop 'Fiddling'

I'm restless ... well we both are really.    Bags are packed apart from last minute items and we're trying to stop ourselves going over and over the itinerary, worrying we've made mistakes with hotel/car bookings/timings etc.

I got the coloured pencils out and added several more (lighter) layers to Thierry's skin and blended out some of the harsh lines.   That whiled away a couple of hours although looking at the before and after pics, the changes are subtle and not very noticeable ... I'll move on to his clothes for another hour by which time the light will have gone and that will force me to do a last minute clean of the house.   Our house-sitter arrives tomorrow morning about an hour before we leave so just a quick hand-over and we're off!

Today's WIP.  His face hasn't changed shape, I think I've photographed this at an angle which has foreshortened the picture a little.

Monday, 18 February 2019

18 FEB: Odds & Ends and Last Minute Things!

Just building up to the task of packing cases - not something I enjoy doing and I always leave it till the last possible moment.   Decision making is more tricky this time as we'll be travelling in a very humid country and whilst our car and hotels will have aircon we'll be out in the open a lot sightseeing and eating al fresco.   There's going to be lots of things going in the case then being taken out again I guess!

I'm procrastinating again ....

Anyway, I added whiskers etc to the little dog, neatened the chest area and generally 'tweaked' a few bits, her Mum has approved her and she'll be wending her way to Ireland later today.

The Grey Man from Lyon (for want of a better title) is finished - until I get back from Singapore when I'll see it with fresh eyes and will no doubt play with it a little more. 

I've photographed the drawing again today as the weather is brighter so the colours are a little more true to life.   I've experimented by laying different colour mounts over the drawing to see which one works best.

Ivory mount - I don't think this is right ...

Sand coloured mount - makes the subject look a little 'warmer' I think ...

This is a very old (damaged) mount so ignore the condition .... I think black (or at least dark grey) will be best - do you agree?

and whilst rummaging around my room looking for mounts, I rediscovered the drawing of Thierry I started way back last Summer.   I never finished the drawing and then totally forgot about him.   He was an amazing character with an 'interesting' face but maybe not one to appeal to exhibition judges.   I think I liked him so much because I witnessed his brilliant dancing and interaction with the saxaphonist who was entertaining  us on the beach in Fuerteventura and it was his exuberance that shone through.

I may go back to this one after our holiday ...

Time to face the suitcase packing now!

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Getting Ready for 'the Off' ....

We're off to Malaysia and Singapore soon - leaving on Wednesday 20th.   

I intend to keep a Blog/diary to record our travels.    One or two of our stopovers will be at places with no WiFi so I'll just have to play catch up as and when we're back online.

If you'd like to check in and see what we're up to the link to my Blog is: 


Previous Blogs (all India)

Clinkers in India 2018 was
Clinkers in India 2017 was
Clinkers in India 2016 was
Clinkers in India 2014 was

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

13/2: WIP Grey Man from Lyon

Managed to get another half day to work on this CP portrait as I'd love to get it finished before the weekend

I added more layers to his hat to darken the grey colour.    I then worked more on his skintones and although it may not be obvious there are about 8 more layers of colour laid down (very gently with a sharp pointed pencil).

The great thing about WIP photos is that they show up errors that aren't always obvious to the naked eye ... in this case I saw that his right eye (left as we look at it) was much paler than the other one.

Then I got bored with skintones and moved onto his jacket/jumper:

again the light was poor today so the white paper has photographed with a very grey tinge

Next update:

I photographed this in a different room so now I have a 'pink' cast to the photo .... oh well!

I've added a suggestion of knitted pattern to his jacket

I do need to go back to work on his skin/beard ... but reasonably happy with progress so far.