Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cat's eyes ACEO

I haven't worked on any pet portraits today as I ended up having to go back to work to cover someone off sick. However, I have my latest ACEO to show you. I did this one yesterday evening and it's the first of a series i'm going to do of close-ups of eyes. I love drawing eyes so this seemed a perfect way to take advantage of my favourite part of the anatomy. I haven't done any for ages as i've been busy with commissions, but they have slowed down now so it seemed a good idea to fit some in in this quiet time. Anyway, here is the ACEO, called 'windows to the soul #1: Cat's eyes'.

It's in coloured pencil and is the standard ACEO size of 3.5" x 2.5". The original artwork is currently for sale for £14.99. It comes is a plastic toploader and is initialed on the front and signed, dated and titled on the back.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Completed Pet Portrait

I have finished Harry's portrait today. It is 8" x 10" and in coloured pencil. Here it is:

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pet Portrait update

Today it has been the turn of Harry, the Brittany Spaniel, to have his pet portrait updated. I have done his eyes and nose and will get it finished by the end of the week. Here it is so far:

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Coloured pencil pet portrait

Here is the latest update on a coloured pencil pet portrait of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Jobi. His portrait is 12" x 16".

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cat Portrait update

I have done a little bit more of my Bengal Cat graphite drawing today. As you can see I have started at the opposite end of the cat which is a bit odd! Basically this is because I normally start at the top left hand corner so when i'm drawing there's less chance of me making a hideous mess smudging with my hand. On this portrait I started with the eys and spread out from there, but have decided now to continue in my usual pattern from the top left corner and join the earlier drawing in the middle. Here's the portrait so far:

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Pet Portrait reference photographs

When I am drawing my own artwork and not commissions I have to be very careful where I get my reference photographs from, due to copyright. I have found a few sites that are really useful, so I thought I would share them

Mourguefile I have only just come across this one and haven't actually used any images yet, but I know they are royalty free and available to use by artists and there are some beautiful photos on there of all different subjects, not just pets.

Pet Portrait Forum The forum has a reference photograph section, covering dogs, cats, horses, other animals and backgrounds. These are images members of the forum have posted and are all copyright free.

Flickr Flickr is a brilliant site - purely for the enormous numbers of photographs available. There are different levels of copyright protection available for photos hosted on flickr, so you need to ensure the photograph you are using has a creative commons license and the photographer is happy for it to be used for commercial purposes and to have derivative works produced from it. This does narrow down the selection available but still provides a lot of fantastic photos.

Artist Reference Photo This website is still new so doesn't have a massive number of photos available yet, but the ones there are very good and all available as copyright free. There is a small subscription charge.

I also think it is worth approaching photographers whose work you admire and asking if they are happy for you to use their work as a reference. I think in most cases, they will be flattered and as long as they are credited will be happy for their photographs to be used.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pet Portrait update

Here is another update on Harry's pet portrait:

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Brilliant new art book

I have just recently joined a book club that caters for artists. It's called Painting for Pleasure and is run by Reader's Union. My latest order arrived yesterday and one of the books I ordered is 'realism in watermedia' by Christopher Leeper. I find it hard to find art books that give instruction on how to paint in a realistic style. A lot of books out there give lots of advice on techniques but a lot of the artwork in the examples is very abstract, and I find it hard to adapt these techniques to produce realistic artwork. I've been looking for books that have step by step demos but also explains how the reader can acheive results in their own work. This book is one of them. It is written in a really nice, clear way and the text is accompanied by lots of photographs.

It has 7 chapters, and covers watercolour, acrylic and mixed media:
  • basic materials
  • plan values for impact
  • painting from life
  • painting from photographs
  • watermedia techniques
  • mixed media techniques
  • step-by-step demonstrations

I very rarely read an art book and feel inspired to tackle some painting but this book has given some good advice and inspired me to have a go, so I will be good and work on my commissions tommorow, but I think I may tackle a painting at the weekend.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Brittany Spaniel update

Today I have been working on Harry's pet portrait. He is a Brittany Spaniel and is having a coloured pencil portrait. Here is the latest update:

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cottage number two

Here's the second cottage we stopped and looked at yesterday:

This one's got it's own driveway

Just look at the view

This one's got an aga as well....

... and an upstairs, though Steve wouldn't let me up there.

It's also got a proper Bathroom, so we assume it's got a septic tank or did have ...

... and it's got light switches and sockets, though there was no mains electric going to the house.

Here's the front room, complete with open fireplace and sheepskin rug (which is a very dead sheep - nice!)
But it has got a good roof and guttering

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

This one's got potential!

No pet portraits today, because I finally managed to get Steve to take me out! We went up a glen called Glen Loth and then to Kinbrace, along to Strathnaver, then Bettyhill then home again. It was a gorgeous drive, even though it was a bit grey. One of the reasons Steve took me out where he did was to show me a house he'd found that he thinks we should buy. It's not habitable, but it's in a beautiful location. Both of us would really love to buy an old cottage in the middle of no-where and either renovate it or re-build one in a traditional style, depending on the state of it. Whenever we go out and see an old ruin, it's like, 'that one's got potential!' I will show you photos of the one Steve likes at a later date, but here's one i've fallen in love with at Glen Loth:

Here's a close up - I think it might need a new roof and some windows!

It's got a kitchen sink...

....and an open fire. One at either end actually.

There's even a second house in the back garden

With a rayburn....

... and a sofa included!

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Bengal cat portrait

As I said before, I am working on two graphite pieces along with my current two coloured pencil commissions. Today I have been working on a Bengal cat that is 12" x 16" in graphite pencil. I can't remember when I started it, it was that long ago! When it is finished i'm going to submit it for my Pet Portrait Diploma. Here it is so far:

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Pet Portrait started

I started my latest commission today - a 12" x 16" coloured pencil pet portrait of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. So far I have only done the outline, but here it is:

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Brittany Spaniel Portrait

Today I have been working on the coloured pencil pet portrait of Harry, the Brittany Spaniel. I had a bit of trouble getting started with this one and started it 3 times, but I am now pleased with how it's progressing. Here it is so far:

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Filing and Gallery updates

This morning I had a tidy up. I had loads of order forms, reference photos and proof of postage receipts lying around, so I got everything organised today. All my completed commissions filed with copies of invoice, order form, reference photos and proof of postage. All my reference photos I have on my 'to do' list which are purely for my portfolio and not as commissions have been filed away and any original artwork I had has been filed too, not left lying around in my art pads. I also found two graphite drawings that I started last year, just for fun, which I am planning on getting finished, one is a Newfoundland, the other a Bengal cat. I am going to do those alongside the two coloured pencil portraits I have as commissions, as I tend to get frustrated with the speed of coloured pencil so it's good to work on a graphite portrait at the same time as they grow a bit quicker! I think I can also use them for the Pet Portrait Diploma course which is useful.

This afternoon, still in tidy up mode, I added three new Pet Portraits to my galleries - Rosie, Winney and the 3 Springer Spaniels. Here are the two galleries if you want a look:

Graphite Dogs Gallery
Coloured Pencil Dogs Gallery

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Westie Pet Portrait finished

My pet portrait of the westie, Jack has been finished today. It is 8" x 10" in graphite pencil. Here is the final scan:

I now have two commissions on my waiting list, Harry the Brittany Spaniel, and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Jobi, both in coloured pencil.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Westie Portrait - work in progress

Here is the latest image of the graphite pet portrait of Jack.

I am hoping to have it finished tommorrow.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Westie Portrait

Here is a photo of my latest Pet Portrait - an 8" x 10"graphite portrait of a West Highland White Highland White Terrier named Jack:

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Monday, June 04, 2007

New Pet Portrait size

I have just added a new size to my standard pet portrait sizes. You can now have a 5" x 7" portrait of your pet. This size is mainly for people with small animals they might like a portrait of - such as rats, ferrets, hamsters etc. It will be a suitable size for a full body or a head or two of a small animal. A 5" x 7" graphite pet portrait is £35 and a coloured pencil portrait is £45. There is no option of a detailed background on this size. Here is a portrait of my rat, Treacle, in graphite as an example of the type of portrait this size is suitable for.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Latest Pet Portrait

Now I have posted off my latest completed Pet Portrait I can show you all a copy. This is the one I had to keep a secret as it is for a gift. The subject is a beautiful crossbreed called Winney, who had her Pet Portrait drawn in graphite on 10" x 12". Here she is:

I have also made a few changes to the Gallery on the website today. Instead of having one gallery I have separated them into 5 galleries of Graphite Dog Portraits, Coloured Pencil Dog Portraits, Cat Portraits, Horse Portraits and Small Animal Portraits. I think this will make it easier for people to look for mediums and subjects they're interested in, instead of plowing through all of the portraits on the site.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Coloured Pencil Pet Portrait in progress

I managed to get some more done yesterday on Harry, the Brittany Spaniel's Pet Portrait. I am a lot happier with this attempt. Here are two work in progress pictures:

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