Monday 13 March 2017


I found time to finish the Gulls this afternoon ... I have 8 ready to mount and frame. 

They are quite 'basic' but the whole idea was to keep them simple so they were fast to produce and can be offered for lower than normal rates at the Exhibition I'll be participating in over the Easter week.   The Gallery is in my home town of Whitstable (which is a seaside town) so I'm hoping these might attract buyers looking for 'topical' work.

I will have some dogs/cats/humans in the exhibition as a back-up but I found they didn't sell well at the last couple of shows ... all depends on the visitor and footfall though

David asked why I haven't drawn a 'pair' of gulls, or several 'pairs' of gulls as that's how we see them most often on the roof of our neighbour's house having noisy conversations with each other - but I've had my fill of gulls for now and also my fingertips are very sore from blending pastel into the sanded paper (my own fault but I do it every time I use Fisher 400 paper and I never learn)!!

These are the pictures with a mount/frame just laid over the top to show how they look.  I still need to sign the pictures but will wait for a couple of days in case I decide to do a little more tweaking first

By the way, if anyone has trouble seeing these photos (are they too large)? please let me know.   I know Jan can see them with no problem but I'm never sure whether to leave the size as Large or Extra Large - 'Original Size' option is too big for my layout and overlaps the borders.     These are all 'Extra Large'   

Friday 10 March 2017


We were out yesterday visiting friends and family and also test-driving a new car ....

Yes,  its that time of year again when hubby gets a bee in his bonnet about changing the car.     Although he is (was) a chartered accountant and knows it doesn't make financial sense to change the car every two years its the one thing he has alway done.  He is a bit of a' petrol head' whereas I think of cars as nasty contraptions that are necessary to get you from A to B but I'm not really bothered about the model or the age (so long as it is reliable and comfortable)!

The two cars test-driven on Tuesday and yesterday were both crossed off the list for various reasons and I'm bored with car-showrooms/salesmen so I let him go out alone today to drive a Mercedes he'd had his eye on.      Apparently it has ticked 99% of the boxes on his checklist so looks as though the deal is done

Having him out of the house left me free to get back to work on the gull pictures ... but I couldn't settle and kept finding things to sidetrack me.   So I haven't got as far as I'd have liked today.    3 are now finished and one is halfway there

I've just laid a simple double mount over the top of each to show how they will look.   The idea is to put each into a very plain black frame (unless I find something I like better in the 'cheap' price range as I'm hoping to produce more of these and offer them at fairly low prices when exhibiting at the local Whitstable Gallery over the Easter week.   

As I live in a seaside town I'm hoping gulls might prove a popular subject - fingers crossed!

As I mentioned in the previous post, these are all done in pastel on Fisher 400 paper which is a golden coloured sandpaper.

Wednesday 8 March 2017


We got back from India on Sunday - having had a fabulous time despite the VERY hot temperatures which were in the high 30s every day (nearly 100degrees)

Sadly I managed to contract another cold (3rd this Winter) which has 'gone to my chest' so I'm coughing and wheezing and feeling a bit yuk still ... I've had it for more than a week though so it should be on its way out soon.

Its back to reality now.    Exhibitions are looming and I learned that one of my entries was juried into the UKCPS International Open Exhibition and I'm very pleased and relieved about that as it means I have had entries juried into the annual exhibition for 10 years out of 11 since I became a member of the Society and this year I will achieve GOLD Signature status!   Yeayyy!   I was a tad worried as I really hadn't done anything special for this year - I ran out of time and resorted to reworking some older practice pieces.  

The exhibition is smaller this year - just one floor of the Gallery is being used so the number of entries was cut back and the standard has got much, much higher (so I'm doubly pleased to have sneaked in with one entry)

I have a commission to crack on with but am still awaiting good photos so ..... 

I'm also exhibiting with the Made In Whitstable Group over the Easter week and have to find around 12 - 15 pictures to fill 'my' wall space at the Horsebridge Gallery in Whitstable.     I'm so bored with all the pictures hanging on my studio walls that I thought I'd get my backside into gear and do a few 'cute' puppy/kitten type pictures - just to sell! ....

Having been out all morning I finally sat in front of the computer around 3pm to look through my folders of cat & dog ref. photos and I came across some photos I'd taken of a Herring Gull on our roof a couple of years back.    I don't normally draw birds but .... why not?     I live by the sea and gulls are a common sight here in Whitstable so I decided to give them a whirl even though they aren't particularly pretty.

The first one took me two hours, start to finish .... so that's a real bonus.     I've now outlined 3 others and put in the blue backgrounds.  I'm on a roll !

I'm working in pastel on Fisher 400 paper - which is a golden coloured sandpaper that just eats pastel pencil.    The background is soft pastel.

I have lots of these double mounts which are white with a black 'inner' and suitable for A4 sized drawings.   With commissions I tend to work 'bigger' so the mounts have been redundant till now   It will be easy (and cheap) to find frames this size to suit the pictures.

I've used more of the darker blue pastel for the background on the next 3 pictures ... which I'm regretting now as I quite like the green/blue colour of the original drawing.   The ref. photos are taken of the gull sitting on the roof of our house so the background is blue sky (and it was a perfect Summers day).

However the green blue colour (above) kind of looks like a nice sea colour which I prefer.

Too late now ...

I used two shades of Soft pastel on the sandpaper and then an old paintbrush to push the colour into the paper surface

Actually, the blue background isn't quite this 'blue' in real life but the photos were taken in artificial light so hopefully I can get better photos when I next work on these (Friday)

This is the last picture where I haven't used the brush yet to distribute the colour