Tuesday 30 September 2014


The year is racing away (again) ... I felt very unsettled today and as a consequence nothing much has been done.    I've been 'flitting' between jobs and not really finishing anything I start ...

I did a little more work on the baby drawing and think I'll just leave it to one side for a few days now.  I know it needs more subtle high/lowlights  but need to look at it with fresh eyes.   In the ref. photo there is a lot of his face in shadow and some very bright highlights which I've toned down a little as they look a bit strange in a drawing ... I may have to tone them down further still

Tomorrow is our usual Volunteer Day at Pilgrims Hospice eBay office so no artwork tomorrow but I'm looking forward to starting my next drawing on Thursday which will be a coloured pencil portrait.    

I'll be exhibiting with Canterbury Society of Arts next month - I joined the Group earlier this year but haven't actually attended any of the regular workshops/meetings yet so this will be a good opportunity to meet some of the other members.    The exhibition will take place during the Canterbury Festival so hopefully footfall will be good.    More about that later.

Monday 29 September 2014


Don't really know where that expression comes from, but certainly yesterday every dog we saw on the beach was 'having its day' and much fun was had by all.

I had a hearing test early yesterday in Whitstable and once I'd finished there, persuaded David to join me in a walk along the beach.   Instead of our usual walk from Tankerton Slopes along the beachpath to Whitstable, we headed in the other direction towards Herne Bay which is a more rugged walk and very popular with dogwalkers and cyclists.

The weather was warm and bright and perfect for a Sunday stroll.    Here are a few pics I took along the way

This lad was trying to fish, but his dog kept trying to catch the float ... in the end the boy's mum came and physically removed the dog but till then he was having great fun jumping and somersaulting

His favourite thing ... fetching a ball from the sea

His next favourite thing ... chasing dozing seagulls from the beach

Sparkling white after a dip in the sea

such fun

I think this one was my favourite pooch of the walk ... he didn't care who threw his ball, as long as somebody did ... and David obliged.  Just loved that 'Collie' intense expression in the first pic

Lots of two legged critters enjoying the beach also ...

and the frisbee player

Today's weather has returned to drizzly grey gloomy stuff so I've done a little more on the baby drawing.     A few WIP photos ... it has been slow going because of all the stripes on his top.

Normally I'd finish the face first but I needed to get some background in before adjusting the skintones.    Now I can start working on the features and he will begin to take shape properly 

It took several layers of graphite to build up the depth of colour in the stripes but the fabric needs more attention once I've added all the shadows/creases

He has got beautiful eyelashes but they'll be added at the last minute when I've finished working on the skintone/hair

Wednesday 24 September 2014


We're back from holiday and have been busy catching up with work at home.    We still have some decorating/repair work to be done after the flood back in June/July but hopefully the work won't be too intrusive or take too long.   It took us a long time to 'unwind' this trip - but we had been under a lot of stress for several weeks ... nicely 'chilled' again now   :-)

I have some photos from Fuerteventura which I might share here later but for today would just like to post a short video (fingers crossed it will work).     We went to the East Kent Ploughing Match near Dover today - David likes the tractors and steam engines but I'm a sucker for the heavy horses and wanted to see them at work.       I took lots of photos so several have been added to my ever increasing 'to do' list .....

Here's a short video showing a couple of the horse teams at work - magnificent aren't they?

There were lots of trade/food/business stands at the show as well as a display by the local hunt with their Foxhounds, Birds of Prey/Falconry and small animals (donkeys, ponies and chickens).   It was all very impressive and a mere £3 per person entry which is quite refreshing in this day and age.     I'd have liked to visit the 'War & the Horse Festival'  staged at Dover Castle last weekend but with entry fees of £18.50 per adult thought that was a bit steep ...    

Anyway, on the arty front, the drawing of Hilly, the Kings Charles Cavalier Spaniel is now at Keswick (Pencil Museum) in readiness for being hung at the UK Coloured Pencil Society Exhibition which starts at the weekend.    

I'm currently working on a graphite pencil drawing of a 10 month old boy which is a Christmas present portrait for 'granny'.    I did a portrait of his brother as a baby for 'granny' as a Xmas present two years ago - its always nice to have returning clients.  

The Springer I portrayed recently was a surprise 60th birthday present and was well received.   I've been sent this photo showing the portrait framed and hanging in pride of place in the recipient's lounge: