Tag Archives: contemporary realism

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

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.

I imagine your love… contemporary charcoal tree art

I imagine your love... (2)I imagine your love... (20)-001I imagine your love... (20)-002

“I imagine your love
To be like the taste 
Of wild, wild berries..”
(Lynn Greyling)
A beautiful poem that sums it all up.
I’ve been keen to get into drawing trees.  I spent alot of last winter drawing bits of trees – cones, branches, teasels, holly etc.  I feel the time is right to tackle the full model.
Reading an article on the painting of trees, it did even more to ignite my wish to complete a tree portrait.  Looking up immediately after reading the article my eyes rested mindfully on this lovely bush just outside my studio window.  Passing it several times a day I feel embarrassed that I had not noticed how beautiful it was.
A week before Valentine’s Day it was probably that influence that had me seeing a heart shaped loop in it’s branches……..
I wanted to extract the shrub from its environment and draw it exclusively on white paper.
It is worked in various types of charcoal – charcoal dust, Nitram charcoal sticks, willow charcoal and charcoal pencils.  Watercolour is added for the berries…
Progress slide show…

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The challenge of dealing with all those tangles was amazing.  At times I couldn’t see the ‘wood for the trees’.  Initially I’d taken a whole load of photographs which were indeed useful but in the end moving my easel so I facing the shrub and drawing it from life was the best option.
We are constantly told that a camera flattens an image, this was certainly true in this case, branches that were visibly weaving their way towards me looked completely flat in the photo.  A good lesson reminder for me…..
The decision to paint the berries with watercolour was in interesting thought process.  When you look at the shrub in life it is indeed the red berries that are what strikes you at first, but in my rendition it’s the twisted curling loops of the branches that are the most striking.  This wasn’t intentional, I had always intended to paint the berries but decided to mute them to darker bluer reds and not represent the sheer volume that is on the shrub itself – artistic licence indeed!
‘I imagine your love….’ is available to purchase from my website shop.  Click here to go there.
Or click on the image below….
I imagine your love... (2)

Sebastian – original charcoal drawing of a junco

Sebastian (2)

Meet Sebastian

He’s a little junco bird, a very fluffy one.

Charcoal is a great medium for capturing movement.

Birds are never still, they are constantly moving or about to.  When drawing or painting birds I like to ensure I’ve captured that flitting sense that a bird has.

 

Here are some progress shots as I build up the charcoal…

 

I make sure the bird is completely drawn in charcoal first, adding the colour just at the end.

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Sebastian is available to buy from my website shop here

Or click on the image below to visit him….

Sebastian (2)

Scout – original pastel drawing of grey squirrel

 

pastel drawing of a squirrel in autumn leaves in a park

I photographed this squirrel in Sheffield Botanical gardens.  Used to squirrels locally that shy away from the camera I was delighted to see how tame he was.  As I crouched down to get a good shot he just wandered over to say hello…

His eyes were full of curiosity, bright and cheerful – I loved him straight away.

I have completed him in pastels – soft, conte and finally pastel pencils on primed gatorboard.

Here is a little slideshow of some progress shots…

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Scout is available to buy from my website shop here or clicking on the framed image below..

Scout framed (20)_

Catch it! – original cricket drawing

My latest cricket drawing has a focus on the moment when the batsman knows he has clipped the ball, glancing behind in the hope that it goes to ground and not to hand.

a charcoal cricket drawing of a slip catch fielder about to catch the ball

The drawing started off with a preliminary sketch in my sketchbook.  Here I’m just making a loose sketch in watercolour to see how it works and to see if it will make a good finished piece…

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It had all the potential for the drama of the moment that I like to capture in my drawings so I went ahead and started a full drawing.  For my cricket drawings I work on Canson Mi Teintes pearl grey paper (the smooth side).  I take sheets of A3 and cut them down if I need to.  Here are progress shots of the piece…..

If you notice the original finished drawing actually had a bowler on it too.  I decided that the bowler brought nothing to the drama and I found his pose a distraction so erased him from the finished piece, working him into the background instead.  The finished piece can be purchased along with prints from my website shop here

Or by clicking on the image below…

a charcoal cricket drawing of a slip catch fielder about to catch the ball

Just in! – original pastel drawing of womens cricket

 

womens cricket drawing by cricket artist in pastel and oil

Just in!

My first colour painting of my favourite subject – cricket and my first women’s cricket drawing for quite a while.

This piece has been spinning around in my head for a while so its so good to see it in reality in front of me.  The inspiration for the piece came from watching video footage of England women’s Katherine Brunt diving to  make it safely behind the line.  Making figure sketches from the video and scrolling through reference photos of diving saves I finally came up with a shape that I wanted.  I have wanted for a while to do an abstract piece of cricket art.  This piece isn’t fully abstract but it’s getting there.  The reasoning behind it is that working on commissions for both cricket figure drawings and portraits the predominant motive is always to get a good likeness.  It’s something that I constantly battle with.  When someone sits for a portrait then often they are still and expressionless so a likeness is easier to measure and work on.  When they are in full movement and full of expression then they don’t always look like the person they are.  In these cases the likeness comes from the body and the body language.  Too often the clients struggle with that concept, expecting the face to look just like a portrait.  It’s a continuous frustration with me as the artist.  By working in abstract we move away from the ‘likeness battle’ and onto a much more personal interpretation.

The desire to produce a piece of abstract cricket art has been there for a few months but not a clue how to go about it.  Flicking through an artist magazine I came across an American artist called Michele Poirier Mozzone who went on a similar abstract journey as myself.  Wanting to work in abstract she spent 6 months trying to produce unfulfilling pieces that weren’t quite what she wanted.  One day she took pictures of her daughter swimming from underwater up to the sunlight.  The resulting photograph produced  beautiful abstract colours slicing through the water with the safe realism of an actual figure to work with.  It was perfect for her and set her on a new journey.

Reading her discoveries a clog clicked in my brain and I knew exactly what I wanted.  I contacted Michele to check out some technical points and the drawing ‘Just in!’ became a reality.

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Following Michele’s advice I produced a light oil paint wash which would show through subtlety the following pastel layers.  It took a little longer to dry than I planned, the figure was painted a bit heavier and would not accept the first layers of pastel until a bit more drying time was taken.

My pastels and working area.  For this drawing I was keen to use my new box of Unison pastels. Unfortunately I had purchased the pet portrait box so there was quite a few colours I wanted that weren’t there – looks like I’ll need to get another box 🙂 I also use Conte soft pastels, hard pastels and pastel pencils.  All pastels are great but the reason that I use Conte is that the soft, hard and pencil all match so you can use exactly the same colour in all forms.

Some progress drawings.

I hope you like this drawing and its journey, prints are available click here to go to my shop and  feel free to leave a comment….or check out more of my cricket art on my website