Saturday, January 31, 2009

Portrait update

9 x 12 coloured pencil

I've done a little more work on the portrait of my grand daughter. I wish now that I used a darker paper to provide some additional contrast. This paper is sand coloured and matches too closely her pale skin and hair.

But no going back now. I have another portrait in the pipeline that I must transfer today sometime. With a snowstorm brewing for tomorrow, I'll get some chores done today then cocoon in my studio tomorrow and draw.

I also wanted to fit in some more painting and had bought a handful of 6 x 12 gallery canvasses. I love these long thin canvasses and love even more the fact that I don't have to get them framed. You can see what I produced at Watermarks.

Recession Strategy # 1:
Save money whenever possible.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I redrew the portrait of my grand daughter today and transferred it to another piece of colourfix. I then made a start on adding some layers of colour to the image. She at least looks her age now.

Children's portraits can be tricky if you're not careful. Features are placed slightly differently than in adult portraits and measurements are crucial to get a good likeness. (about time I took my own advice isn't it?)

I have another portrait that I've just started a line drawing for. In my plans for this year, I have decided to do several free portraits in return for a little more exposure from the recipients. All I'm asking is that the individual hang the portrait prominently either in the home or work area. Somewhere where it will get some traffic. I don't mind doing portraits gratis, in fact I quite enjoy portraits and the extra practice is always useful to me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


UPDATE I so disliked the drawing that I did last night that I redrew a master line portrait at lunchtime and will transfer it to colourfix tonight. This one much better represents the child. My original drawing made her look too old. Amazing what a bit of measuring can do!

My grand daughter was two yesterday, so what better time to draw a portrait of her but now? Time does move very quickly, and I recall so vividly when she was born, such a tiny thing, then her 1st birthday devouring cake for the first time. Now two, ready for a party with all the trimmings.

I am doing this piece on colourfix paper and using Derwent Coloursoft pencils. The paper colour isn't purple, its more a soft brownish red, but I have to make do with a scanner tonight as the batteries in my camera need charging.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Primula sketch
8 x 10 watercolour pencils and wash

I don't enjoy drawing flowers. I know that I can, but for some reason, I just don't like them. Perhaps its the difficult level - all those nooks and crannies of leaves. All the colours, shading and complexity of petals.

At the weekend the supermarket had these little pots of primulas for sale, vainly trying to pretend it was spring in the -10 temperatures. I loved the colours and brightness of them so bought one, bundled it up like a baby to take it from the store to the car and home then let it try to inspire me. I dared it to.

And of course it sat there on the dining room table, watching me as I had coffee or ate supper, waving its pretty head and crinkled leaves til I finally succumbed. This is the resulting sketch. Horrible light as always and fuzzy photo resulting.

Did I mention that I hate drawing flowers?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Beach pebbles

Beach pebbles
7 x 10 watercolour

There is something so appealing to me about beach stones. The endless colours and shapes, the smoothness of one in your hand or pocket, the sheen of the sea on a wet pebble or the matt surface of one dried by the sun.

I can't come away from the seashore without pockets of them and that that has gone a step further to turning some into jewelry, so they can come with me wherever I go.

I hope to have some of these in my Etsy shop over the next few days. I need a block of time to devote to doing this and this week may be a bit busy. But if anyone's set their heart on them, just email me and let me know and I'll help you out.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Suffering for art

Candy apple
8 x 10 graphite

I have an idea in my head of something that I want to draw and am working on the process, with some obstacles cropping up.

I want to create a drawing/painting of candy apples. You know, those bright red shelled, cavity producing things of fairs and fall. Its not so much the apple and candy part I want, its just some images of them that I want to capture in the right light so I can use them to draw from.

So I set out to find some. Of course there are none available. Even the ingredients for them seemed difficult to find. I can find the things to create the brittle shell, and the apples, now I need to find sticks to insert into them. And then the time to make them. This will have to be next weekend now, otherwise I won't be around during daylight hours and unable to photograph them and they will have softened or melted by then.

I've never made candy apples before. Caramel apples, yes. They're simple, you just melt caramels and coat. The hard shelled apples are a bit trickier. It involves heat and melting stuff and if you've ever gotten a speck of boiling sugar syrup on your hand you'll know what I mean when I say pain.

Is this what suffering for the sake of art is all about? Frustrated by my inability to get things set up today I created a drawing of a candy apple to satisfy a little bit of my need for instant gratification.