Tag Archives: art

Bird Art – Maxwell – original charcoal & watercolour sparrow

Maxwell (2)

This is Maxwell.

I named him after a character in a historical novel I was listening to whilst drawing him.

He’s been a saved photograph for quite a while, and in fact I have tried to draw him a few times.  Due to the fluffy nature of his coat it would only work with certain mediums.  Also, interestingly, I always have a problem with brown.  Lots of birds and animals have quite a lot of tan colour in their feathers and coats, for some reason that colour or tone always seem to be absent from my sets of pastels.

In the end I had to mix it myself.  It’s the first time I’ve used watercolour with charcoal but they work quite well as long as the charcoal drawing has been fixed before you start applying the paint.

Here are a few progress shots….

Maxwell, as with Betty was painted in charcoal initially.  It gives the bird a good flowing undercoat before working in my detail with the sticks of charcoal.  Probably a bit more controlled than with Betty.  Once the charcoal is dry its very easy to manipulate it, move it around, lift it off etc.

He always seems to be quite chirpy to me, singing away merrily…

The finished piece is available in my website shop – click here to go there!

Or click on the framed piece below…

Maxwell - framed

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Pheasant Fan – original coloured pencil drawing of pheasant feathers

pheasant feathers original coloured pencil drawing from life

I have called this one Pheasant Fan.  It has taken me about 2 months to complete working on it for an hour or so each morning.  I find this method allows me to work on fine detail and then step away and see it again with fresh eyes the next day.

My husband picked up 5 feathers whilst walking our dog Charlie.  The 5 feathers were all different sizes and spread out made a lovely fan….

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My excitement was complete as I know I will be able to produce work from these feathers for many years to come.

Settling on the largest 3 I maintained the fan composition, playing around to get the shadows correct.  My first job is to draw the outline of the feathers in a light graphite drawing. making note of the imperfections in the feathers, which give the drawing more character….

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Then the next 2 months were spent working on the many layers needed.  I make the first layers darker than needed, marking the tone initially in light and dark ochre.  Here’s some progress shots….

The original drawing has been framed in a gorgeous black and gold frame to 18 x 12″…

Pheasant Fan Framed

Pheasant Fan is available from my website shop here or click on the image above to follow the link…

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

Cheshire Open Studios

This week is all about getting ready for my Open Studio event which starts on Saturday.  I have no idea how it is going to go.  I hope I make some sales but I am equally looking forward to meeting other artists if they come and visit.

I have been lucky with the weather, a couple of nice calm and sunny days.  My artwork is on display and I’m working on a portrait drawing whilst welcoming visitors..

Whilst I am putting up posters and completing health and safety checks I am still working on my ‘Fruit Salad’ pastel drawing.  It’s taking shape and looking bright and wholesome as I hoped….

Finally on Thursday I completed the drawing.  It was such a wonderful piece to draw that tested all my skills and understanding of perspective and proportion.  Someone told me that it made her mouth water looking at it.  Here is the finished piece which is up for sale on my shop, you can see it in more detail here  or click on the completed image below

original pastel drawing of a collection of fruit still life

Fruit Salad


A quote I read this week can be applied to so many things not just art:

“ORIGINALITY: Don’t worry about your originality.  You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to.  It will stick to you and show you up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do.” (Henri)


Sales this week….

a framed print of ‘Unbelievable’

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That Pug Look – original pug pencil drawing & other notes from the studio

After promising to give myself the day off on Monday following my art fair I ended up working to complete a pencil pug drawing that I started at the fair.  It’s great to draw when you’re at an art fair, customers love to see you working and talk about techniques.

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Here’s a sneaky photo that I took at the fair, I loved it and hope to paint it one day..


So ‘That Pug Look’ was completed on Wednesday, he is only 6 x 6″ wide and framed in a 7×7″ frame.  If you’re interested in purchasing him or viewing my other artwork and commissions click here to follow the link to my website or click on the finished drawing of That Pug Look.

 

framed pencil graphite drawing of a pug dog by cheshire based pet artist

That Pug Look


Before I get on with my next commission I am carrying on with trialling oil painting.  This time I have chosen a composition that I feel I can work with better.  Being a shorter haired dog , a dalmatian means I can focus on the tones rather than the fine fur detail.  The photo is by kind permission of someone from Dalmatians UK facebook page.

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The pose is perfect and the light is being cast from above to the right.  The only tricky thing is the constant whites.

Misbah Ul Haq – push up warm up & preparing for artfair.

I can’t believe I have not finished my drawing of Misbah’s push up warm up but I have been busy with print sales this week and preparing for my art fair on Sunday.  However the bits I have been working on have been quality.  Here is a timelapse of me drawing Misbah himself.

 


On Sunday I am attending the first art fair for Cheshire Makers which is being held at the Lion Salt Works in Northwich.  Art fairs are a great opportunity to meet your public, to network with other artists and showcase your art (if you’re lucky you might also get some sales!)  This is where I am this Sunday…


I’ve been working on trying out my oil painting skills – very mixed results.  Trying to paint a dog was particularly interesting because I know how to draw a dog but not how to use the paints properly.  It’s great having a go at another medium but can also be frustrating when you don’t immediately get the results that you want (it’s also expensive).

I’ve put it to one side for now, I could scrap it or finish it.  I can’t help but think that it would make a wonderful pastel drawing instead ….

T20 Rocket – progress drawings

I took a lot of photographs of progress yesterday to keep everyone up to date.  This is definitely going to be one of my best drawings.  Here they all are:

close up detail of cricketers face drawn in charcoal

close up detail of cricketers face with charcoal blended in

 

completed face of cricket batsman drawn in charcoal

close up detail of cricketers arm drawn in charcoal

close up detail of a cricket batsman arm with a sleeve tattoo drawn in charcoal

progress drawing of cricket batsman hitting a six in a t20 match with the wicket keeper and stumps

Full progress drawing