Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Happy Birthday

It is my fiance Steve's Birthday today, and I made him a Birthday cake. This may not seem that exciting to many of you, but I am not an enthusiastic or imaginative cook, so it was a bit of an acheivement for me! I was so proud of it I took a photo! Here it is:

The 33+1 is because he is 34 today (oh he will be pleased I told you that!), but he keeps on that he is 33, so I said he was 33 +1, like the Sky TV channels. The 33+1 bit made him smile, and he was really pleased i'd made him a cake. So Happy Birthday Steve.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Great Dane completed...

...just the background to do now. Here is Strath's Pet Portrait so far:

As you can see, I have now finished the Great Dane. The customer has seen it and is happy so far, so now I need to work on the background. This Pet Portrait is having a full, detailed background of the owners garden. I shall post more updates shortly.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Great Dane work in progress

I have another update on Strath, the Great Dane in coloured pencil. I am hoping to have him finished over the next few days and to have started on the background by the end of the week.

Here is the portrait so far:

And here is a close up of the recently completed section:

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Great Dane Update

Here is another update on Strath, the Great Dane in coloured pencil:

Strath's Pet Portrait is one of the ones currently on my website under work in progress, so you can also follow the progress of his portrait there.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Customer Testimonials

I was looking through my emails recently and realised what a lot of nice comments i've had about Pet Portraits I have done for customers. So I thought I would create a Testimonials page for the website. I think this will be good for potential new customers to read as they will know that real people have actually had good experiences from commissioning me to do a Pet Portrait for them and will hopefully encourage new customers. I haven't incorporated it into the website yet, as I need to re-arrange the navigation bar, but here is the Testimonials page. Hopefully it will be added to as I get more customer comments.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Great Dane Update

Here is the latest update on Strath, the Great Dane:

It is a beautiful sunny day here today, and I have been sat in my conservatory where I do my drawing in short sleeves its that warm. It's lovely the days are now finally starting to get longer. It's light now till half five on a nice day, which means I have more hours to work on my coloured work in natural daylight.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Coloured Pencil Great Dane update

This afternoon I have been working on the coloured pencil portrait of Strath, the Great Dane. So far I have put down a base layer of Peach and started on the detail on his head. I have done his eyes. I often do the eyes first as they tend to be one of the darker areas so they give me a reference to help me build up the other colours. Here is a full body image

And a close up of the head detail

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Siamese cat in Acrylic finished

I have finally completed my Siamese cat Acrylic painting today. As you know it was my first ever Acrylic painting. I learned the hard way about mixing enough of a colour - I had to do a second layer of the cream as I wanted to cover up some detail I was unhappy with but hadn't mixed enough so the second layer is too dark. I found the detail very hard to do, I just can't control a paint brush like I can a pencil. I was using a smaller brush than reccomended, but still couldn't get fine enough lines. I have posted the finished peice on the Pet Portraits forum I am a member of for some constructive criticism so I will let you know what comments I get from there. Here is stage 3 and then the final painting:

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Great Dane portrait

You may remember ages ago I started a drawing of a Great Dane which was a prize for a Best in Show - well I have finally completed all my current commissions with set deadlines so have started on the Great Dane again. I wasn't happy with the first composition - I had too much background and not enough dog, so I started again. Here is the new pencil outline. This one is now at the top of the priority list so expect more updates next week and possibly at the weekend.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cocker Spaniel Pet Portrait

Well here it is as promised, my latest completed Pet Portrait. She is a Cocker Spaniel named Annie, and was commissioned as a birthday present by the lady that owns her's daughter. I had great fun drawing her. I did it a slightly different way round than normal, doing the black bits first, then filling in the blanks with the lighter tones. She has been drawn in graphite pencil, size 10" x 12". I'm quite pleased with the way she turned out and the customer was happy, which is what matters.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Getting Organised

Today I decided that I was going to get myself organised because I am spending far too much time surfing the internet and generally wasting time when I should be drawing or working on the website. So I have set myself hours a day that are 'work hours'. These are between half twelve and five and between these hours I will be drawing. Even if I don't have any Pet Portraits to work on I can be doing practise pieces, learning new mediums or doing artwork for my dog breed gifts. Once a week I will allocate a day to spend working on the website or SEO if I'm not really busy with commissions. This gives me enough time to have dinner and sort out my rabbits when i get in from my part-time job and gives me 4 and a half hours drawing. I tried it for the first time today, and it was amazing how much I got done just by sitting down with a pro-active mindset, knowing I had to draw until five.

Tommorow I will be able to show you my lateset finished commission, as it was a gift for a Birthday today, so by tommorrow the recipient will have seen it and I won't be ruining any surprises inadvertently. Untill then... Happy Valentines Day!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Wow, it's been 5 days since I last updated my blog. I can't show you any artwork at the moment because the two commissions I'm working on are both for presents, so I thought i'd show you some pictures of the snow. I know the weather is normally the favourite topic amongst the British, but all the snow does seem to have got everyone excited!

Well when I moved to the Highlands I thought we'd have loads of snow, but so far we've only had a couple of inches. Here are a few pictures:

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Wick to Warminster...

.... and back again!! Well I survived and am now back home in the Highlands. Our Marathon Journey took 15 hours to get from Wick to Warminster last Saturday and two days to get back over yesterday and today. We bought a caravan back with us which we slept in last night and the whole journey back took 21 hours driving time. A 1968 Landrover with a laden roof rack towing a small but chunky 1987 caravan doesn't like hills (max speed 30mph on some) and there are lots of hills between Wiltshire and the Highlands. Add that to the fact the fan had been put on the wrong way round and was sucking air out of a hot engine rather than blowing nice cool air into it and you have an overheating Landrover - so a stop at the services to change the fan round was in order. This was done yesterday in Birmingham and thankfully solved the overheating problem so the journey today was trouble-free.

The sun shone both days and today in particular it was actually quite nice to be going very slowly and be able to appreciate the stunning Scottish scenery from the higher vantage point in the Landrover.

It's nice to be back, and I have two new pet portraits to work on, which I will be able to show you in a couple of weeks as they are both surprises so I can't show you the work in progress.