My latest bird art is a painting. Carrying on with the alla prima style I wanted to see how it would respond to a bird painting……Continue reading
This is Maxwell.
I named him after a character in a historical novel I was listening to whilst drawing him.
He’s been a saved photograph for quite a while, and in fact I have tried to draw him a few times. Due to the fluffy nature of his coat it would only work with certain mediums. Also, interestingly, I always have a problem with brown. Lots of birds and animals have quite a lot of tan colour in their feathers and coats, for some reason that colour or tone always seem to be absent from my sets of pastels.
In the end I had to mix it myself. It’s the first time I’ve used watercolour with charcoal but they work quite well as long as the charcoal drawing has been fixed before you start applying the paint.
Here are a few progress shots….
Maxwell, as with Betty was painted in charcoal initially. It gives the bird a good flowing undercoat before working in my detail with the sticks of charcoal. Probably a bit more controlled than with Betty. Once the charcoal is dry its very easy to manipulate it, move it around, lift it off etc.
He always seems to be quite chirpy to me, singing away merrily…
The finished piece is available in my website shop – click here to go there!
Or click on the framed piece below…
In my studio this week I have been working on my competition drawing of Faith and the Goose. I am entering it into the Society of Graphic Fine Art’s Draw 16 competition. I don’t expect it to win but it would be lovely if it got accepted and hung in their exhibition in October. This is part way through the drawing as I have begun work on the goose, blending and shaping the charcoal. I want the goose to look friendly because that will soften the look of fear on the girl’s face making the drawing quite sweet. I want the drawing to make people smile, not for them to be afraid for Faith.
I am also preparing my studio for show, I would like people to feel they can come and visit, take a look at the original drawings and prints, chat about commissions and see me work. So I’ve been busy framing and putting pieces on the walls, preparing prices and ensuring that its the comfy cosy place to visit and stay a while that I think it is. If you would like to visit drop me a quick text, email or facebook message and I will let you know when I am in.
Taking the day off on Saturday we went for an art trip to Kirkstall, Leeds. This was a fact finding mission to take a nose around their art trail. I have entered my studio into the Cheshire Open Studio event in September and wanted some ideas. It’s surprising to think there are so many artists who live so close to each other. But, I reckon the same could be said of quite a lot of areas. There are quite a few in Alsager that I know of. It was so lovely to visit other artists in their studios and although I was worried about getting studio envy I was ok. The only envy was possibly for the wonderful summer house at the end of one beautiful garden.
The tips that I picked up was to have a bowl of sweets or nibbles, to have a write up on display about me and my art, have a visitor book for people to sign, add their contact details and comments. The things not to do was to have lots of friends in the studio. It’s a tricky balance because in some places it felt fine and we were left to browse but in other places we felt intrusive and uncomfortable.
The great line I’ve picked up this week in my reading is The artist sees only that in the model which may help him to build up the look he would record (Robert Henri) To me this means that when I’m looking at the model or the subject of the drawing I need to consider what it is I am trying to portray. For the Faith & the Goose drawing it was the expression on Faith’s face, therefore everything needed to relate to that. I had to draw the goose to show what she was afraid of, to draw the bench to show her position in relation to the goose and to show she was at a park. Hmmmmm
This is the finished piece of Faith and the Goose which has now been emailed off to SGFA. Fingers crossed and we will see how it gets on.
Finally for this week I am going to explore drawing portraits from life – a true ambition of mine. I would like people to come to my studio and sit for me to have their portrait drawn. Initially it would need to be as practise because my drawing skills are not up to scratch on portraits or from life. Plus I’m not sure what materials I would prefer to use – charcoal, graphite or pastels so lots of experimenting needed. If you feel that you have an hour to spare and would like to sit for me then please get in touch, I can’t pay you but I give you a cuppa and lots of chat.
This drawing is now complete. I have drawn him in Faber Castell graphite pencils on Arches Watercolour Paper. It is mounted to 16 x 12″ and is available to buy from my website shop. Click here to buy or on the image. I would love to hear what you think of him…..
For the last few days I have been attending an art fair at Chester Racecourse. It was a wonderful experience, firstly in managing to sell some of my artwork, meeting customers and meeting some wonderful art people who, like me, have such a passion for their particular form of art.