Monday, 31 March 2014

Finished!

With the help of the wonderful tones of Seth Lakeman, I managed to finish the stag today, and I'm quite happy with it now.  I was doubtful it would come right as I just wasn't happy but not sure why,  after darkening the background and fiddling for a loooong time, I'm satisfied!  I love the antlers :D
A quick pastel sketch to finish off,
and a quick selfie of me and Piper.  This is how I'm supposed to get ready every morning!!!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Two of my graphite pictures have been made into prints and will be in the Etsy shop and on my website soon.  They can be bought unmatted and on pearl archive paper for £5.00 plus postage, or matted and printed on cotton rag for £10. plus postage.
The cotton rag paper is excellent quality and looks just like an original on watercolour paper!
Another deer painting in the early stages.  There are times during a painting when I simply despair that it will come right.  This is midway and I'm beginning to feel hopeful!
To give you an idea of my working conditions in a house of cats, I'm often interrupted and called upon to sort out disputes or deal with sudden onset hunger among other issues.  If I try to ignore the situation, I'm either pestered until sanity flees or pay the consequence of cats trying to feed themselves!  A congregation of the sort below, usually means trouble especially when accompanied by much yowling! The issue was with Gigi, who was under the table.  Closer investigation revealed the little chap below!
This little guy was soaked from the rain (or maybe Gigi's mouth!) and was such a pitiful sight that I found myself wanting to save a least one mouse life this week. I've had numerous gifts of bodies all week and I think the cats have either found a nest or the mice are desperate to come in and only realise their mistake when it's too late! I made a wee nest in a donut box and fed a little muesli.  I was so shocked to find that he/she was still alive the next morning.
After a small breakfast of a hunny nut cornflake, we took our visitor to a nearby farm, no longer in use, and set him free where hopefully there will be peace and quiet and no cats to find him!
I just adore that tiny little face and feel some little felted animals need to be made :D

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A little work this week.

The graphite was originally intended as a way for me to brush up on my drawing skills, but I'm having so much fun that I just can't stop!
For this picture of a Doe, I decided to add a little colour.  I love it :D
The Dragon was probably the longest time I spent on a graphite picture.  Lifting out all of the highlights on his scales took forever and I totally lost myself in the task.
I really should have achieved a lot more this week, but I spent so long trying to get the perfect copies for a print run.  The trouble was that the photographs came out lilac on the printer.  I know there's probably some way that I could adjust the colours, but I'm not really technically minded so in the end I scanned the pictures and had to make do with cropped versions!  They worked out far better than I had hoped and the prints look lovely on 100% cotton paper.  The next job now is to get them in the Etsy shop and update my website :D

This week I hope to do some horse pictures and introduce a little more colour :D

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Still loving Graphite!

I'm surprised that I'm not bored with the graphite by now, but I'm not, not at all!!!
I finished the stag no.2 and then went right on to
a speeding hare.  I had a lot of fun with this :D
Then along came a robin, I guess this is more suited to December and I'll probably make a painted version of it for Christmas cards :D
The latest drawing is of a baby dragon.  I know at the moment it looks like a lizard (my inspiration), but once it's got wings and a few finishing touches it will look better :D
I'm thinking of having these pictures scanned and made into greetings cards, is that a good idea?  I'd love to hear which ones you like and why.  I feel a giveaway coming on.....  stay tuned :D

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Internet friendships are amazing.

Two posts in one day???  I wanted this topic to have a post all of it's own. 

Over the years, I've made many friends online, some have gone on to be friends in the real world and others have endured only via my lap top.  Sadly some have vanished never to be heard of again!  Sometimes though, you share a blogging friendship with someone and know that if you ever met, you would be instant friends and so it has been with Rossichka from Out of The Shell.  She has such an engaging blog and her ability with paper cutting is incredible, please drop by and say hello if you're passing :D

I have had some bad days with my health and sometimes Rossichka's beautiful paper cuts simply lift my spirit.  Isn't it wonderful when we can do that for each other?  Imagine my delight when she asked for my postal address and when a mysterious package arrived a couple of weeks later.

This is a papercut called The King's Face.  It makes me smile so much every time I look at it :D It's going up on the Studio wall.
 Also in the package were these Martenitzas, little red and white bracelets/adornments worn on the 1st of March.  The whole tradition is explained Here.
 And finally, this beautiful picture of a horse, how could I not love it straight away?  This was made for the Chinese year of the Blue wooden horse and was created by an Artist friend of Rossichka.
Thank you my lovely friend, you really did make my day :D

Internet - resource or distraction?

Just recently I've found myself being inspired by so many images and artists that I reached a point of overload.  I started to lose track of my own voice as an artist and what it was I was trying to say in my pictures.  My style was losing strength as I began to just look at art rather than produce it.

A break was needed.  I switched off my laptop and just focused on my home and loved ones.  I began to simply observed those around me and reconnected to the images that truly inspire me.  My animals.  It was good to just sketch and scribble.  The Studio was reorganised, yet again, and a few new supplies were purchased.

 Although the Studio was organised, as you can see, my work area itself is quite chaotic!  I have quite an assortment of pencils and erasers for this style of picture!

Lots of sketches were made in my lovely brown paper book, given to me by the Moomin :D
 They were then fleshed out on a fine grain white pad.
 The stag in the first picture started out as a few simple lines which were then filled out with a paper smudger.
 More detail and tonal values were added with graphite sticks and more smudging.
 My favourite propelling or mechanical pencil is great for creating texture and hair details while the highlights were lifted out with a little mechanical eraser.
 The finished piece simply called The Stag.
 I enjoyed the process so much that I started again!  Smudging and creating tonal values.
 Beginning to fill in the details.
This is so restful compared to painting, although I know my palettes will soon be calling me back to the world of colour.  But for now, I have a few other sketches to develope and of course, my own sweet cats are going find themselves in the spotlight soon enough.  I don't lack for inspiration with them!  There is also a tentative picture for a charity raffle in the pipeline, but more of that to come :D