Wednesday 30 September 2009


My client phoned from Belfast and asked whether I'd be able to draw Bobby, his in-laws' poodle who had just passed away at a ripe old age. He didn't have access to a scanner so sent the refs by post. There are only 4 available pictures and these are the clearest two! Had these been emailed to me I think I would have turned the commission down but for some reason I always find it harder to do so when the client has taken the time and expense to mail the refs (silly I know) :o)

Anyway, these are the refs and I'm working mainly from the second one. I was asked to draw Bobby in Coloured Pencil but have steered them towards pastel which I thought would be easier given the lack of detail in the ref photos - I am struggling though. The support is light grey Clairefontaine Pastelmat. I will email a scan to the clients tonight to see how they feel about it so far. It is very difficult to see Bobby's eyes and also to tell whether his fur has a lot of grey in it or whether this is due to the flash on the camera.

I forgot to take photos in the very early stages and at this point I had completed a lot of the left ear and blocked in some base colours on the face. I have used the photo of a black poodle I drew last year to 'borrow' the eye detail and hope the colour is correct.

A little more progress made here

This is it for today. The client wants Bobby's collar and name tag drawn in but I can't see the tag so, again, will have to rely on the client describing the tag for me. I sprayed the portrait with fixative before photographing the last stage so some of the highlights have disappeared but they can easily be restored tomorrow.

It has been a very overcast gloomy day here and I'm finding it difficult to draw in this poor light (even my daylight bulb/lamp isn't helping). Time to call it a day and get cracking in the kitchen. I found a wonderful recipe for home made spicy tomato soup and we've just finished the last lot I made. We now have another batch of very ripe tomotoes in the greenhouse so I'm going to make more soup and hope it will freeze OK. We have one pumpkin left in the garden and I'm debating whether to use it for roast pumpkin soup - or save it for Halloween (a friend is hosting a Halloween party on 31st) .... decisions, decisions!!

What is really spooky though, is that I had my hair cut yesterday - not just trimmed but cut to a really short bob length ..... every time I look in a mirror (which isn't often these days) I don't recognise the face looking back at me. Still not sure whether I like it though?!

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