Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bullrush – original graphite drawing

original graphite pencil drawing of a bullrush on white paper

 

I picked up this bullrush on a dog walk.  I’d had my eye on them for a while and when the seasons were just about to turn I picked it.  The ground it was in can be quite marshy when the rains come.  I let it dry out in my studio for a few weeks until it was ready to draw from.

I loved the tall elegance of these plants and have tried to retain its height by doing a narrow drawing.  It is 17 x 10″ on white Arches heavy watercolour smooth paper.  I tried various ways to display it but settled on taping it to a board.  Shining a light on it created interesting shadow shapes.

Here’s a little slideshow of the progress….

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The fluffy poker like seed head was a challenge, I started out trying to drawing every little variation but this was not going to work so in the end with alot of squinting to spot the various tones I resorted to many layers of crosshatched graphite.

The finished piece can be seen on my website shop here… or clicking on the framed image below…

Bullrush framed (20)_

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Catch it! – original cricket drawing

My latest cricket drawing has a focus on the moment when the batsman knows he has clipped the ball, glancing behind in the hope that it goes to ground and not to hand.

a charcoal cricket drawing of a slip catch fielder about to catch the ball

The drawing started off with a preliminary sketch in my sketchbook.  Here I’m just making a loose sketch in watercolour to see how it works and to see if it will make a good finished piece…

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It had all the potential for the drama of the moment that I like to capture in my drawings so I went ahead and started a full drawing.  For my cricket drawings I work on Canson Mi Teintes pearl grey paper (the smooth side).  I take sheets of A3 and cut them down if I need to.  Here are progress shots of the piece…..

If you notice the original finished drawing actually had a bowler on it too.  I decided that the bowler brought nothing to the drama and I found his pose a distraction so erased him from the finished piece, working him into the background instead.  The finished piece can be purchased along with prints from my website shop here

Or by clicking on the image below…

a charcoal cricket drawing of a slip catch fielder about to catch the ball

Draw 17 – Society of Graphic Fine Arts annual open Exhibition

I am delighted to have a piece accepted into this prestigous exhibition which takes place at the Menier Gallery on the Southbank, London.

a graphite pencil drawing of sycamore seedsSycamore (20)-001

This was my third attempt to draw this knot of sycamore seeds that I picked up from a walk across the golf course.  First I tried them with oils (too detailed for oils) then watercolours (struggled with the colour mixing) and then reverted to my favourite – graphite.  The pencils did not let me down, they allowed me to create all the fine details and translucent effect…..

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Draw 17 is a wonderful exhibition, I was extremely lucky to have my work hang besides such talented artists.

Little Blue – original pastel drawing of a bluetit

I have recently moved into bird art.  As part of drawing more from life I have begun to take my camera out with me and photograph birds and nature.

This is my first official drawing which is a bluetit feeding on some bread.

Little Blue (1)

He is drawn in Carbothello pastel pencils on Strathmore toned mixed media paper.

Here is a progress video of the build up of the drawing…

Little Blue is available to buy from my website shop here

Forward – original charcoal rugby drawing

rugby drawing in charcoal of an england rugby player running for a try

Forward

This has been drawn with Nitram charcoal on grey Canson Mi Teintes paper.

It is 20 x 16″ framed in a black wooden frame.

The original & limited edition prints are available.

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The inspiration for this drawing came from watching all the action in the recent six nations championship.  I watch video of the action I prefer, freeze it where I want it and then take a screenshot.  It is the most effective way of getting the exact image that I want.  In this case I wanted to save that point where we are not really sure if the forward is going to get away from the defender and score the try.  The force of action is represented with loose charcoal stokes.

Here are some shots of the work in progress….

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When capturing movement in art there are some principles that I have learnt:

  • ensure some part of the body is grounded
  • avoid figures in the air.pay close attention on which parts of the body is moving, in real time we would probably see them as a blur, represent them loosely.
  • represent the muscle structure of the body accurately on parts of the body that are not moving as that is where the power comes from.
  • sometimes there is so much movement that you can represent the air around the figures moving instead.  In such a case try to imagine the air around them as water, which parts would be disturbed and which parts of the air would be still.

 

There are also limited edition (50) prints available….

Forward (2) print

3’s A Crowd – original pastel dog drawing commission

original pastel drawing of two jack russells and a beagle

3’s A Crowd

This was a tough commission.  The original drawing is 20 x 16″ on pastelmat.

When originally asked to do the commission I was presented with a photograph of the three dogs in this pose.  It’s taken by a professional pet photographer.  My initial reaction was to say that the photo was great and could not be improved upon with art.  However, the customer insisted that he wanted something bigger and completed in art.  Reluctantly I agreed, as most pet artists know a great photo can lead to a great piece because when the photography is so clear it makes my job a lot easier.

Decisions – I thought the best course of action was to focus on the dog’s faces and make everything else loose and impressionistic.  I figured that if I drew the bench and the trees and grass in great detail then it would detract away from the dogs themselves.

Here are my materials for the commission – Unison soft pastels (Emma Colbert set) stabilo carbothello pastel pencils, conte soft and hard pastels all on pastelmat.

 Here is a slideshow showing progress shots taken as I went along…

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The piece took just over 2 weeks to complete….

Just in! – original pastel drawing of womens cricket

 

womens cricket drawing by cricket artist in pastel and oil

Just in!

My first colour painting of my favourite subject – cricket and my first women’s cricket drawing for quite a while.

This piece has been spinning around in my head for a while so its so good to see it in reality in front of me.  The inspiration for the piece came from watching video footage of England women’s Katherine Brunt diving to  make it safely behind the line.  Making figure sketches from the video and scrolling through reference photos of diving saves I finally came up with a shape that I wanted.  I have wanted for a while to do an abstract piece of cricket art.  This piece isn’t fully abstract but it’s getting there.  The reasoning behind it is that working on commissions for both cricket figure drawings and portraits the predominant motive is always to get a good likeness.  It’s something that I constantly battle with.  When someone sits for a portrait then often they are still and expressionless so a likeness is easier to measure and work on.  When they are in full movement and full of expression then they don’t always look like the person they are.  In these cases the likeness comes from the body and the body language.  Too often the clients struggle with that concept, expecting the face to look just like a portrait.  It’s a continuous frustration with me as the artist.  By working in abstract we move away from the ‘likeness battle’ and onto a much more personal interpretation.

The desire to produce a piece of abstract cricket art has been there for a few months but not a clue how to go about it.  Flicking through an artist magazine I came across an American artist called Michele Poirier Mozzone who went on a similar abstract journey as myself.  Wanting to work in abstract she spent 6 months trying to produce unfulfilling pieces that weren’t quite what she wanted.  One day she took pictures of her daughter swimming from underwater up to the sunlight.  The resulting photograph produced  beautiful abstract colours slicing through the water with the safe realism of an actual figure to work with.  It was perfect for her and set her on a new journey.

Reading her discoveries a clog clicked in my brain and I knew exactly what I wanted.  I contacted Michele to check out some technical points and the drawing ‘Just in!’ became a reality.

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Following Michele’s advice I produced a light oil paint wash which would show through subtlety the following pastel layers.  It took a little longer to dry than I planned, the figure was painted a bit heavier and would not accept the first layers of pastel until a bit more drying time was taken.

My pastels and working area.  For this drawing I was keen to use my new box of Unison pastels. Unfortunately I had purchased the pet portrait box so there was quite a few colours I wanted that weren’t there – looks like I’ll need to get another box 🙂 I also use Conte soft pastels, hard pastels and pastel pencils.  All pastels are great but the reason that I use Conte is that the soft, hard and pencil all match so you can use exactly the same colour in all forms.

Some progress drawings.

I hope you like this drawing and its journey, prints are available click here to go to my shop and  feel free to leave a comment….or check out more of my cricket art on my website