My latest drawing is of a Barbary Ape that I met when visiting Gibraltar a few years ago. I thought he looked very thoughtful and not terribly happy. I wanted to draw him but I was on an accompanied tour so just took a snap and stored it away. I came across the photo a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for inspiration for an animal picture and I knew that coloured pencils would be perfect. I’d just bought some Pastelmat paper which I was keen to try out and thought this would be the perfect subject. I’m pretty happy with the result. I may even enter him in the latest UKCPS competition.
I’m pretty pleased with this drawing. It was a family commission and once it’s framed it will be winging its way to bonnie Scotland. I hope the recipient will be delighted with it and happy to have it on their wall.
This is my first picture since completing my course at the London College of Art and for me marks the start of me as a working artist. It’s an exciting time and I’m looking forwards to beginning some work on drawings that I’m happy to enter into competitions or exhibitions. Before that though; I have one more private piece of work to complete for my granddaughter. She loves fairies and I am working on a composition which I think will be called The Dorset Fairy glen or something similar. I’m hoping to finish it this week so when I have, I will post a picture of it here.
Woohoo I’ve finished my drawing and painting course and have passed with a distinction!
The last modules were all about figure drawing and portraiture. I loved working on this drawing using coloured pencils.
It’s not the most flattering of portraits and in fact my family have commented on the seriousness of my expression but this is my face as I often see it in the mirror and it looks like I’m concentrating.
The previous module to this one had me working on using oil paint to complete a couple of paintings. My favourite is this one of boats on Mull which I’ve worked up from a photo I took through the car window when we visited Mull last year. Tobermory is a lovely place and I’d happily spend more time on this lovely island.
I haven’t posted for a while and to be honest, I haven’t been doing too much painting either. It has been an unexpectedly hectic year and I am only now starting to turn my attention back to my art. I’ve missed it.
The watercolour sketch above was one I was pretty pleased with although my tutor was less impressed with my painting of the stones of Durdle Dor itself.
I was also happy with the sketch of Corfe Castle railway station, also completed in watercolour. This hasn’t yet been submitted to my tutor but I feel like I’m making some progress on controlling the watercolours again.
The above picture was a simple exercise on portraying light. I wanted to give the feel of a sunny day outside which I think has worked quite well.
This week has been a mix of animals and portraiture. I started out continuing exploring drawing animals in ink with the sketch of the New Forest pony. They are a fairly unique shape which is quite hard to capture and, to my mind, always look a little sad. I found I was really enjoying the scribble method I was using to capture the pony’s grey coat and have continued to explore this further during the course of this week.
I then started a drawing of a peacock which I’d taken a photograph of on a visit to Castle Howard, near York, last weekend. The fantastic peacock tail feathers were past their best but he was still a magnificent colour and I enjoyed trying to capture his colours and shapes with my water colour pencils.
Moving on with exploring pen and ink, I began some portraiture and have completed two picture of John, the first from a photo taken earlier this year and the second a quick study from life whilst he was watching tv. Both of these studies were completed in ink without the benefit of sketching in pencil first. So, they are complete, errors and all and to be honest I’m quite pleased with them and with the likeness I’ve managed to achieve.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on drawing animals (and been away on a short break to the New Forest so less drawing time available). I wanted to draw a really good picture of my son’s dog Kaya. She is still a puppy and really cute but she is going to be a very big dog when she’s fully grown and is already about the size of a labrador. She is a Malamute which is similar to a Huskie but she doesn’t have blue eyes. They are very good sled pulling dogs, apparently. Anyway, I started with the quick pencil sketch you can see at the top of the post and have just completed the pen and ink drawing you can see below. The sketch is a fairly small image which I did in an hour or so in my sketch book whereas the pen and ink one is A2 size and was done ready to be framed. Hopefully my son and his girlfriend will like it. I may use this one as my submission in the next module of my course; the other option is a drawing of a horse so I might have a go at that next.
This week I spent some time on a slightly abstracted study of some sunflowers. initially this started as a charcoal sketch but I started to play with colour using water soluble pencils. The cartridge paper I was drawing on wasn’t the best for this and has resulted in a rather wrinkly image which might flatten a bit more when it’s thoroughly dried. I had been inspired to try this by the Van Gogh sunflower copy I did last week in oils and I think this image could work quite well as an oil painting too so I might work that up at some time.
This is probably completely the wrong thing to write about on my artist site but it’s my site and so I can do what I want. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been enjoying a bit of knitting in the evening. For some unknown reason I have wanted to challenge myself to knit a pair of socks, something I thought not many people did any more but surprisingly when I started exploring this on the net, I found thousands of dedicated sock knitters. Who knew? One blogger “Winwick Mum” had set up a “sock along” last year and had posted how to knit socks and a clearly written sock pattern which was downloadable free from her blog. So, I’ve been following this along with a very fluorescent yarn especially for socks which I bought in a local yarn shop. Sock number one is knitted and I’m just about to turn the heel on sock number two. So far so good. But then, I happened to find another yarn store in Oxford. www.oxfordyarnstore.co.uk and as I was in Oxford, I popped in. Wow! I was completed pulled in by all the colour ways that were available in lots of yarn but particularly sock yarn. I came home with the skein you can see in the picture and initially intended to knit another pair of socks with it. This is hand painted yarn and the wool is really, really soft, forget any preconceptions you’ve got about real wool being scratchy and itchy. This just isn’t. Anyway, it’s the colours that get me and that’s probably partly why I’m writing about it on my artist page. I’m considering knitting a small shawl with it or something similar to show off the colour changes rather than socks but haven’t yet decided. When I do, I’ll make sure and come back to post the results. It’s also got me thinking about how to incorporate these sort of colours into my art……
This week I have continued to work on flowers. Above is a pencil sketch of a bunch of flowers in a vase which had started to look past their best but I thought the withering leaves were interesting to draw and made different shapes.
A fun exercise was to do a copy of the famous Sunflowers painting by Van Gogh. As this is originally an oil painting and I had a small canvas available, I thought it would be fun to copy it in oils. I started by sketching in charcoal and then completed the painting in water soluble oils (something Van Gogh certainly never used). I had lots of fun with it and am actually really pleased with the result and it makes me want to try an original picture of flowers but in a similar loose style.
This week I made a start on flowers and plants by doing a couple of drawings of daffodils. To be honest, I quite like the pencil drawing of the open daffodil and that came together quite easily but the one in partial bud was tricky to get right and I ended up rubbing it out a few times till the paper got too grubby and I gave it up as a bad job. Shame, but you can’t get it right all the time, I suppose.
So, having been working in black and white for weeks, I just fancied a bit of colour so pulled out the water colour pencils to do the second drawing. It’s not bad but when I looked at it again, it looked to me like the middle of the open flower was sitting on one of the petals rather than in the middle which put me right off. Neither of these pics will make it to my gallery. Hey Ho! We were away again at the weekend so I didn’t spend as much time as I wanted to or should on drawing this week and I’m very late posting this blog but as I sit here today, I’m just about to get my pencils out and get drawing.