This is Pete, he’s a donkey that lives in a field that I walk past with my dog. He’s in a field with horses and what strikes me about Pete is that he is always so alert and curious about who is walking by. The horses rarely look up or express any interest in anything going on but Pete always does
This is new for me on two fronts, firstly it is the largest painting I have done and it’s the first donkey I have also painted – in fact the first horse of any type. A little daunted I decided to keep trusting my style and method and see where I ended up. Quite well actually, it is a beautiful painting.
Meet Romeo, he’s one of a number of bluetits, long-tailed tits & great tits that visit the garden each day. I had already completed a charcoal sketch of him to see how he would look without really noticing the little bit of menace in his eyes. I don’t quite know how I managed to miss that. Anyway I certainly spotted it when I was painting him.
Bluetits have always been an issue for me when it comes to representing them in art. Whilst I love drawing probably above all else, the colour is quite an issue. Another recent bluetit I drew in charcoal I resisted the urge to put any colours in and that was a successful drawing, beautifully rendered with the charcoal as I knew it would. In the past however I have drawn them and then been tempted to add a little bit of colour. But which bit of colour? Do you go for the blue cap and ignore the yellow, or the darker blue / green of the wing? Then you end up with a coloured drawing rather than a drawing with a dash of colour. This time I went full out and painted him and I’m so glad that I did. The blue and yellow of bluetits are the most peaceful, calm colours that nature can provide. I spent far too long simply moving the paint around the board.
Drawn in pastel this drawing has taken me about 6 weeks to complete. I haven’t drawn it from dawn to dusk each day but worked on it most days.
The particular leaf in question literally landed at my feet back in the Autumn when I was sat on the back patio, a small seating area at the bottom of my garden. Back then it was a wonderful coppery colour with a twist in its body that immediately twitched my drawing hand.
I don’t know what it is about twisted things, I have always assumed that it is because it presents a greater challenge – and oh boy do I like a challenge. I am hoping that it isn’t representative of some twisted part of my personality.
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.
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 →
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.