31 January 2012

More life drawing

Here are some from last week's class:

 Pencil, A3, 25 min

 Charcoal and white pastel, A3, 25 min

Pencil, A3, 15 min

For the next session we're having two poses of an hour each, and I've been asked to think about trying something different from pencil or charcoal... I have ideas, so watch this space...

26 January 2012

Baby James


Here's a quick portrait I completed the other night, while sitting in front of a lovely roaring fire. I couldn't bring myself to leave the room and head up to my 'studio', so I brought all my stuff down and enjoyed the painting and the fire at the same time :-)

I'm never too sure about pastels - I always seem to go a bit mad with the colours (maybe I need to invest in a better range of colours), and I tend to overblend them, but maybe that's something you can get away with when the subject's such a cute baby (I am biased, this is my nephew!). But it's nice to have a change of medium every now and again.

Various pastels on pastelmat paper, 8 " by 8" ish (cropped from a bit bigger, 9 by 12ish).

Edit: I've replaced the pic with one that's a bit more true to the original (the first pic I uploaded look rather orange!)

24 January 2012

Painting outside, kind of

Hello again

One of my art goals for this year is to give landscape painting one last go, and see if I can muster any enthusiasm for it by painting outside, from life, rather than from photo refs. As it happened, the December/January Year of Painting challenge on the Painting Friends forum was to either set up a still life, or paint en plein air. I decided to go for it, despite it being the middle of winter and thus rather cold, windy and wet... in the end I actually painted from the relative comfort of my car...

First off, here's the painting. It's acrylic 12" by 8". I was painting for about an hour or so.


Here's a pic of what I was looking at - it's the village cricket team's pavilion, and the cricket field beyond:

And here's my set up - I had the pochade box on my lap. Just about enough room!

I have to say that I enjoyed the experience, so maybe there's hope for me and landscape painting yet. I'll have to get a portable easel if I want to actually paint outside the car one day - if anyone has any recommendations, let me know. Not the greatest painting ever, but I was pleased enough with it for a first outdoor attempt! Roll on the warmer weather!

19 January 2012

Mad hair day


Well, I decided to try a painting based on a sketch of my other half (see earlier post) and this is what I've ended up with :-)

12" square, acrylics on canvas. Not sure I'm completely finished with it yet. I'll leave it in a corner for a few days to decide whether anything annoys me too much, or if I want to do anything else with it...

13 January 2012

Life drawing

Hello again:-)

Life drawing classes have started up again. Here's the best of the bunch from the other night.

 I seemed to be having a tiny feet problem with this one! This was the first of the evening, and I was feeling a bit rusty.

This one's a bit better I think. Still need to work on faces, hands, feet, the usual bugbears in life drawing I reckon!

Both 25-minute poses in pencil.

11 January 2012

I may have overdone the hair...

Hello again!

In an effort to up my rate of sketching and drawing I've been doing some sketches from photo refs, working from the computer monitor, and here's one of them. Not a great picture I have to say, it looks a little distorted, but you get the idea!

A4 sketchbook, black kuretake sketching pen and grey tombow brush pen.

These are fun to do, and I was pleased with this one, from a fairly unpromising snapshot. Sketching in pen also means that I don't go back and fiddle (too much...)

09 January 2012

Sketching from life


Here are a few quick sketches, done over the festive season, to get me set up for (hopefully) a year of lots of sketching...

These were all done in an A4 size sketchbook, with a Kuretake sketching pen and, variously, a watercolour wash and a tombow brush pen. This is my long-suffering other half, trying to concentrate on puzzles in the newspaper...

05 January 2012

Family picture

Hello everyone! Here's one from the end of last year.

It's got to be one of the toughest paintings I've attempted - and it was a commission, from my aunt and uncle, as a Christmas gift for my grandmother. There's no way I'd have taken on a five-head portrait if it hadn't been for family!

I have to admit I was fairly stressed about getting this one right. But the recipients liked it, so all is well!

Watercolour, approx 20" by 20"

02 January 2012

A snoozy start to 2012

Hello all!

2012 is here already (just where does the time go??) I've been visiting various art blogs, and lots of people have been sharing their arty goals for the coming year. As 2011 drew to a close, I gave this some thought myself, so for anyone interested (and so I have a record of my goals to remind me how far off track I go!), here are some of mine for the coming year...

1. More sketching and drawing from life. This has been on my mind for a good while now. I reckon that the basis of a successful anything arty, for me anyway, is a confident drawing. I'll continue with the life drawing class (for as long as it runs anyway!), and will endeavour to do much more general sketching.

2. Get out and about with the sketchbook. This is very much related to the above, in that it's more sketching and drawing; however, there is the added proviso of going places - there are some places I'd like to visit, including the local raptor rescue centre, maybe some zoos and wildlife parks and the like, sketching wildfowl along the river locally to me, and at a local nature reserve. That kind of thing. Would like to do much more nature sketching. I'm thinking a trip out once a week would be about right...

3. Landscapes. These are my bugbear. I just can't get into them, and having thought about it, I began to wonder whether I would enjoy painting plein air. So getting out and about again (there's a theme emerging here!) and giving landscape painting one last go...

4. Not worrying about painting a 'finished' painting. Although I do enjoy the challenge of a completed painting (I'm thinking particularly of portraits here), I do have a tendency to not start them as it all seems a bit much. So, more small studies and watercolour sketches, painting/drawing from life or using my own photo refs. I've enjoyed the recent small watercolour sketches I've done of animals, painted from zoo refs etc; I've found I've painted more freely and not worried about the end product. So there's mileage in that idea, I'm sure.

5. Experiment a bit. Try combining media, use different supports etc.

So, here's my first effort for 2012, based on my own photo of my cat Sophie, now sadly departed. Started off with a very loose pencil sketch, then dropped colour onto damp/wet paper. Went in with the water-soluble ink pens, and took it from there.


Watercolour and ink, approx 4" by 6" ish.

Happy 2012!

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