Little Joe – Original charcoal bluetit drawing

Meet Little Joe, he’s a bluetit that comes regularly to my garden and the feeders. Like most bluetits he’s always moving, darting in and out, never still.  When he’s on one feeder he’s always looking to the next one, full of life and energy.

charcoal drawing of a bluetit
Little Joe
Continue reading

Two for Joy #2

coloured colored pencil drawing of two magpie feathers

Two for Joy #2

My latest study is two magpie feathers.  I love magpies and I particularly love their feathers.  I have collected quite a few over that last few years so I’ve decided to number them as I feel there will be more ‘Two for Joy’ coming up.

For this pair I found the feather on the left first.  I nearly left it as it was on its own.  I loved the stark contrast of the block of white but knew it didn’t match any of the feathers I have.  It’s quite short so I am guessing that it is from their wing feathers.  Luckily I kept it and decided to hold onto it until I found a matching feather.  Continue reading

Quick Sketch Process in charcoal

I have battled with portrait drawing since I can’t remember.  Despite drawing portraits pretty much every day, I still get it badly wrong more times than I get it right.

I don’t have any particular ambitions to be a portrait artist, there are too many artists that are so much better than I could hope to be whom I admire and am in awe of pretty much permanently.  However, being able to competently draw portraits helps me in all areas of my art.  My cricket and sports drawings will be so much easier if I didn’t spend days sweating over the faces and indeed any animal or bird drawing will be helped no end by increased portrait drawing skills.

I strongly believe that since portrait drawing is the hardest thing to master, there are those that will disagree, but I seriously believe that, then everything else should therefore be easier as a result of an increased skill in this area.

Right? Continue reading

The Blast – original pastel drawing of T20 batsman

pastel drawing of luke wright hitting a six in a t20 blast final edgbaston

Welcome to my cricket drawing ‘The Blast’ .

This was a bit of an impromptu drawing that ended up really well.  I was watching and enjoying this years Blast T20 final at Edgbaston between Sussex and Worcester.  Worcester went on to win the game but this is Sussex’s Luke Wright hitting a big six.

Rarely do I draw cricket art in colour but the colour and the razzmatazz of the competition lead to colour being on the cards.

The progress of my pastel drawings lately have been to prime gaterboard with pastel primer and an acrylic colour.  This time a golden colour.  It allows for the golden colour to light up the whole scene as the layers go on top.  I then take a darker pastel ground and paint an underpainting of the main figure.  This provides some depth to the batsman.

Progress shots…..

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Once the under painting is dry I build up the colour totally focusing on complementary colours to provide harmony to the piece.  It is not the same representing movement in pastel as it is in charcoal.  The method I have found most effective is as painting movement and that is to let the pastel strokes go through the neighbouring colour which provides a more impressionistic piece.

The original piece is with Luke himself.  Here’s a shot of him holding the original….

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I have set up a run of 50 limited prints available from my website…..Click here to visit or on the image below

pastel drawing of luke wright hitting a six in a t20 blast final edgbaston

Bat Drop – charcoal cricket drawing of Joe Root

 

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I originally drew this as a bit of fun.  It was a moment of unusual reaction and passion from England’s captain Joe Root.  Reaching a trying century in an ODI series against India he managed to secure it and an England win off the last ball.

 

Keeping the drawing loose with focus on the movement and drama of the situation it is drawn totally in charcoal on lily white pastel paper.

The drawing is available to buy along with limited edition prints from my website here 

Morning Glow – an original charcoal drawing of an egret

Morning Glow(1)

This Moment.
Sunrise at dawn.
Wading into each others lives.
Togetherness and warmth
(Jack Thompson 2015)

Meet Denis, he’s an egret.  I mistook him for a stork initially but I am better informed now.  Many thanks to Diane Pickering for the kind use of her reference photo.

What I loved about this image was the soft glow of the morning sun hitting the twigs around Denis’ feet and illuminating his bottom feathers, making them glow a lovely warm yellow.

Quite a large piece I had initial decisions to make, do I keep it large and include the habitat or exclude the habitat and focus on the bird itself.  I decided to keep it large – he’s a large bird afterall and have a go at working with the habitat.

It became apparent that I would need to find a method to work with the habitat, I am not used to working on landscapes, my mind was overtaken with all the detail in those twists of twigs and stick.

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After experimenting with several different methods I settled on darkening the whole image and placing the dark shadows in first, then lightening it gradually, reinforcing the dark areas and lifting out the lighter areas.  This is how I work my portraits and fortunately it worked.  The trick is to keep a really light hand with the charcoal so you can blend it in or lift it out.  Here’s a quick video of me drawing it……

and another little video where I am describing the process …

Once I’d cracked the habitat I was able to work calmly on the bird itself.  Being a white bird it was necessary to keep a very light hand and concentrate on the lighter end of the grayscale.

Here is a little slideshow of all the bits of my progress shots…

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I hope you have enjoyed the progress shots of the making of ‘Morning Glow’, Denis has been framed in a dark wooden frame and is ready to hang.

Morning Glow - framed

Denis can be purchased from my online shop, click here or on the image above.

Mindfulness – original oil painting swan

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My latest bird art painting is called ‘Mindfulness’.  I called it that because I was touched by the present moment that the swan is just about to enter the mist.  Everything is about that moment.

I wanted to keep it very warm and not sinister so retained a palette of pinky grey as my main colour throughout the painting.  This was achieved by mixing french ultramarine with Alizarin crimson to create a purple and then adding some indian yellow.  That created a warm grey, pink was added to create the pink tone and then varied from light to dark of the same mix.

Here are some progress shots:

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The piece has been framed in my favourite type of dark wooden rustic frame…

Mindfulness - in frame

I am entering ‘Mindfulness’ into exhibitions throughout the year.  In the meantime it can be bought directly from my shop by clicking here or the image below.

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