Friday, January 26, 2007

Page Rank

I have just looked at my blog this evening and discovered it has a Google Page Rank now - Hooray!! It's been given a page rank of 3, which is the same as my website and I didn't start it until September so it's only taken 5 months which I think is pretty good.

I am off down South tommorow to visit mine and Steve's parents in Wiltshire. We are going in a 1968 Land Rover and taking our 4 dogs, so it's going to be quite a trip!! It's 670 miles ish! I will still have access to the internet so will be able to update you with the current work I am doing.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Small animal portraits

Here is a photograph of my most recent piece of artwork. It's a graphite pencil drawing of my new rat Treacle. It's about 5" x 7". I used a new pencil to draw it which is a mechanical pencil that takes a variety of different leads. The bonus of these types of pencils is the leads don't need to be sharpened, which means I keep a nice sharp point allowing for fine detail, without continually having to stop and sharpen the pencil. This particular type has leads available up to 2B which isn't really dark enough for the very dark areas of a drawing, but I was surprised at the depth of tone I got with it. I just used a wood-encased 4B pencil to darken up her eyes. I was quite pleased with the result and will definitely be using my mechanical pencil from now on.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Siamese cat updated

I have now finished steps 2 and 3 on my Acrylic Siamese cat. I am finding adding the detail hard work, even though i'm using a smaller brush than suggested my fine strands of hair still don't look as fine as in the book and i'm not really sure why. I'm probably putting too much paint on the brush or something, or pressing too hard and splaying out the bristles. The best way to learn is normally by your mistakes, so I guess I shall have to keep learning!! Here it is so far:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Siamese cat in acrylic paint

My New Years resolution for my pet portraits this year was to learn how to paint. Being self taught I have only ever been confident with drawing and don't seem to be able to control a paint brush the way I can a pencil, however I really want to be able to offer a colour medium and i'm finding coloured pencils very slow. I think using paint will be quicker and hopefully produce better results. I have decided to use Acrylics as they are very versatile - they can be used thick straight from the tube to produce an oil-like effect, or can be watered down for a more watercolour effect. They dry quickly, which can also be a bad thing!

So today I started a demo from a book I have called 'painting animal friends' by Jeanne Filler Scott. I've only done step one, so it doesn't look that exciting, but it looks like it does in the book:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gallery changes

The Gallery has been reorganised. I thought I had enough artwork in the gallery now to arrange it into a graphite pencil gallery and a coloured pencil gallery. I think this will help customers who know if they want a colour or black and white portrait to search through more relevant examples. And it's still easy to browse through if people are unsure of which medium they want.

I have also added a page for my ACEO's which I am going to be concentrating on this year to gain a little extra income. So the two I didn't sell on ebay are now for sale on my website.

The new pages are here:

Coloured Pencil Pet Portraits Gallery

Graphite Pencil Pet Portraits Gallery


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Lurcher work in progress

I have been working on the Lurcher portrait recently, here is a picture so far, and I have also updated the work in progress page on the website.

The weather has been horrendous here - wet and windy with gusts of 60mph! A bit scary with the windows in the conservatory flexing and humming where the wind is forcing itself through the tiny gaps. Just got my fingers crossed its going to blow itself out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Shop News

I have finally added the 'add to basket' buttons to my shop today, so customers can now purchase their greetings cards, fridge magnets and keyrings online. I use Paypal to process my payments so all transactions are safe and secure. I'm pretty embarrased it's taken me so long to do, as it's very simple, just a matter of letting Paypal create the buttons and then copying and pasting the HTML code. Now it's done, just follow the shop link on the website to purchase items

Monday, January 08, 2007

Work in progress

I have eventually got round to updating my work in progress pages. It was such a rush before Christmas and I had so many I couldn't show it hasn't been updated since early November! Now I have updated the Work in Progress with my current two drawings, one is a Lurcher, the other a Great Dane. Both are in coloured pencil and the Great Dane has a full background. So far I have only posted pictures of the outlines, but more updates will be online soon. Here is the Work in Progress page if you want to have a look.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Old English Sheepdog Portraits

I thought I would continue with the Christmas commission theme and show you another two of my completed portraits. These two were both drawn in graphite in 12" x 16" smooth surface cartridge paper. I had one reference photograph that showed both dogs that didn't have a huge amount of detail, so I used quite a sketchy 'loose' style which made a nice change from my usual highly detailed artwork. The customer called to say how thrilled he was with them, so here they are:

This is Jay,

And this is Tosh,

For a larger picture you can look at their individual gallery pages
Jay's Pet Portrait
Tosh's Pet Portrait

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Pets

I now have two new additions to my animal family - two rats. I know some people don't like rats, I think it's the tails, but they make great pets. They are lively and intelligent and really friendly. They can even be trained to come when called. We've got two girls, Fudge, who Steve has decided is his, and Treacle. They are both Hooded, which is the name of the marking, and their colours are Agouti and Champagne. Here is a picture, Treacle is the darker (Agouti) one, Fudge is the paler (Champagne) one.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

January Sale!!

Well, it's that time of year again, Christmas is over and it's time to spend your money in the January Sales, so I thought i'd join in the fun. For the month of January, if you order a Pet Portrait to be delivered during January or February you will only be charged 2006 prices. This could save you up to £24! I have posted the new and sale prices on the prices page of the website.