I’ve been drawing quite a lot of dogs recently and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to do so. Here is Summer, a beautiful huge Leonberger.
Some of you may remember that I drew Kaya as a puppy in pen and ink
Well, she’s a fully grown lovely Alaskan Malamute now and it was brilliant to draw her again, this time in coloured pencil.
But I don’t just want to draw dogs. I’ve always had an interest in botanical art, although I think to do “proper” botanical art you need a ruler, a magnifying glass and even a knife to dissect and study the flower parts. It takes years of study to do it properly but, who knows, I might just get hooked.
I love flowers though, I particularly love roses and have lots in the garden. My dog Lexi has a tendency to pluck the flower heads off and eat them if I don’t watch her carefully so she loves them too, admittedly in a different way. Even thought it’s November, some of the roses are still flowering and one of them has the most wonderful big blooms which look fantastic against some of the bright and clear blue skies we’ve been getting recently so I’ve been itching to draw one.
I didn’t put the blue sky in, it was a toss up but, in the end, I thought the impact I was looking for worked better against the white paper.
I’ve recently been working on a number of animal pieces in coloured pencil. As part of doing this, I’ve been experimenting with some different papers and have found I really like working on Pastelmat which has a velvet like surface and is great for laying down multiple colours when depicting fur.
Wilf was one of the first pieces I completed on pastel mat, although the earlier picture of Lexi was the very first one. Wilf was a commissioned piece and he had the most fabulous fur and expression. The contrasts of colours were great to work on and his owner was delighted with the finished result.
My next piece was one of my own pets. Meet Buster the cat. Buster is a mature 11 year old now but I chose to draw him when he was a tiny kitten and had just come to live with us. I think his marmalade tabby markings work really well on the colour of the pastel mat.
My next piece was a gift for my sister in law and is a drawing of her pug Coco. I loved the colours I was able to work in around her muzzle and I think her eyes are particularly expressive.
And this is my very latest drawing. This time, it’s not on pastel mat but Bristol Board Extra Smooth. It was much more difficult to lay down lots of colours as the paper has no tooth, however it does a good job of helping to show the sheen of India’s coat.
My next challenge is to get much better at photographing my drawings. I have a decent camera but am very likely to snap a pic with my phone and the resulting images are just not good enough. I’ll need lights and a tripod for that.
So, here is my latest drawing and it’s of my dog Lexi. She is a Golden Doodle which means she is a cross breed between a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle. She’s a really happy dog who loves everybody and everything. She’s a little nervous of traffic but is getting much better with practice. I’ve been wanting to draw her for a while but I was a little worried about white fur on white paper and so this is what I came up with. I’ve used a soft grey pastelmat paper and really highlighted all the reflected colours in her fur to keep up the interest. I’m very happy that I’ve managed to get her happy expression onto paper and I think I’ve ended up with a happy picture. Well, it makes me smile. I really like drawing animals so may stick to this theme with my next one too.
I’ve had this photo for a couple of years, taken, if memory serves me well, at a wildlife park near bath. I really love all the colours in his feathers and I thought that coloured pencil would be a great way to go to make sure I could capture the colour intensity. I used Polychromos pencils on Bristol Board rather than pastel mat. I hoped the smoothness of the Bristol board would show off the sheen of the coloured feathers to better effect.
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.