Friday 28 December 2012


I've been away from the drawing board for a couple of days entertaining family etc - oh and I delivered the portrait of Manny (the horse) as I discovered my client lived relatively close to Mother-in-Law so it made sense to hand deliver it rather than entrust it to the Post Office at this time of year.

We visited friends we haven't seen since the Summer late afternoon yesterday.   It was meant to be a short visit but somehow stretched to 4 hours.  We had a great time (especially David as I was driver for the day so he got to have a few beers whilst I stuck with the diet coke)!!

Today I worked more on the 'sepia' portrait.     Stupidly, a couple of days ago I decided to put in a very simple background with watercolour pencil and brush over it with a damp brush .... Canson MiTeintes paper obviously doesn't like being wetted and instantly buckled up.     So I've had it laid flat with a heavy drawing board on top and that has helped.    An artist e-friend suggested using a warm iron on the back of the paper but I'm reluctant to do that in case it 'melts' the coloured pencil - I'm using mostly wax based pencils. 

I'm going to take a break from the picture now and let it spend a few more days being 'flattened'.   That will also give me time to think about whether I'm going to add the final touches or re-do it in graphite ...

I photographed it in a white mount which is a bit too 'bright'

and again in a dark brown mount

David prefers the dark mount but I'm not sure what colour frame would work with it.   I've since found a cream mount which I quite like and which would sit nicely in a brown/wood frame - but its too dark to photograph it now. 

So lots of decisions to make in a couple of days.

Meantime I've got to get myself ready to start the next 'human' portrait - which is a family group.   I'm just waiting for one more ref. photo and trying to decide whether to use Pastelmat and pastels, or coloured pencils - or both.

I used to be decisive .... now I just don't know   ;-)


  1. yeah don't use an iron, even on the back and on low it can be enough to melt the wax :/

  2. looks great! I like the brown matting as well. It kind of seals everything in nicely, but a cream might work too x

  3. Hi Jennifer
    It seems to be 'flattening out' OK so fingers crossed ... I've decided I'll probably stick with this version and not redo it in graphite as I have others to crack on with now.

    Thanks Kyla - the mount/matting will be a last minute decision I think but definitely it won't be the white one.

  4. Yes, I rather like the brown matting but maybe the cream would work too.

    You do have to make a lot of decisions don't you LOL.

  5. Hi Jo
    Hope you had a good Christmas.
    The post is a bit 'tongue in cheek' but I do think I'm more indecisive than I used to be ... more time to think about things I guess??
    I'm a bit better with the things that REALLY matter I hope.

  6. AAAArgh! Forgot you used wax pencils on this! Definitely don't iron!

    At this point, I like the brown mat with it but as you said, it's a decision best left for when you're finished.

  7. Hi Jan
    Well, ironing on the back might give an interesting finish. I believe some artists use wax based pencils with an Icarus board which has a warm surface and melts the wax to give a more painterly look. Never seen/used one before though.

    Anyway, it is much flatter now so think I got away with it. I've got used to pastelmat and Fisher 400 which work really well with wet or dry applications.


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