Thursday, November 3, 2011

Northern Bluebird Pencil Portrait

Northern Bluebird
I spent a couple of weeks in September working on a color pencil portrait of a Northern Bluebird. You don't see very many of these beautiful birds but while my husband and I were down at his grandfathers cabin I was lucky enough to capture this photograph. As a child my husband would build and put up bluebird nesting boxes on his grandfathers land and to this day checks them every year. 

I completed the portrait in time for the Mill Art Centre Member Show and left it, along with a couple of other pieces, in the gallery for the month of October. When I went to collect the pieces at the end of the show I was told I was the only member to sell some artwork and yes, my original little bluebird had already found a home! 

Prints and note cards of Northern Bluebird can be purchased from my website.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Big Thank You!

I would like to thank Artizanns and The Cheshire Union for letting me have my artwork for sale in their lovely stores. I would also like to thank Honeoye Falls Vet for letting me decorate their corridor with some of my prints :) 

I have listed their websites below......

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Corn Hill Festival Photos

I had a great time at the Corn Hill Festival. Lots of people and lots of fun! Here are a few photos of my booth......
Booth at Corn Hill Festival

Table display 
Panel display
I would like to thank everyone that stopped by at my booth ~ you made it an awesome weekend :)

Cute Note Cards

My note cards came out better from the printers than I expected and people went crazy for them at the Corn Hill Festival. The best seller to my surprise was the Chipmunk & Apple Blossom! The cards are sold in packs of six (one design), come with white envelopes and packaged in a clear plastic box ~ making them a perfect gift for family and friends.

Butterfly, Finch & Chipmunk Pencil Paintings

I thought it was about time I posted my most recent artwork up on here. I have been tied up getting things ready for fairs and festivals but have finally found time for a bit of blogging. I will really try and make time from now on. So here are my 3 most recent pieces of color pencil artwork ~ Monarch Butterfly & Echinacea, Goldfinch & Thistle and Chipmunk & Apple Blossom.....

Monarch Butterfly & Echinacea
Goldfinch & Thistle
Chipmunk & Apple Blossom

........ All 3 pieces are available as archival prints (matted and non-matted) and note cards from my website :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Naples Festival and a few portraits in progress...

Booth at Naples Festival

I had a blast at the Naples Festival. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. However it was the first nice day we had had for a long time so perhaps everyone was out doing their gardening because it was very very quiet at the festival. Saying that, I did make a few sales and a few new friends. I am also going to have some of my work for sale in a couple of stores in the area. Right now I am focussing on completing a few more color portraits in time for the Corn Hill Festival which is happening on July 9th and 10th. I am going to be patient and wait for the final scans of the originals before I post the completed portraits :)

Butterfly Pencil Portrait

Goldfinch Pencil Portrait

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Golden Retriever Color Pencil Drawing ~ Finished

Golden Retriever Color Portrait
I have finally got a round to completing the golden retriever color pencil drawing that I started quite some time ago. I put the drawing away for a while as I was in the process of moving house and tied up with other commitments. I spent roughly 25 hours on this portrait. I could have spent many more hours on it but luckily I have a husband who helps me decide when enough is enough :)

I will be showing some of my original artwork and prints at the Naples Spring Artisan Showcase next weekend May 21st & May 22nd.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Golden Retriever Color Pencil Portrait in Progress

Golden Retriever Portrait with 2-3 layers of color pencil
It has taken roughly 12 hours to get to the stage where most of the portrait has at least 2-3 layers of color pencils applied over it. I have given the eyes and nose more attention because once I have these areas correctly proportioned and shaded (on any portrait) I find myself eager to carry on drawing. From here I expect to spend at least another 10 hours working on defining the hair before I add even more detail to the eyes and nose. 

Golden Retriever Pencil Portrait with one blended layer of color pencils

I found a beautiful photograph of a dopey looking golden retriever in the reference image library on the Wet Canvas website (I believe the photograph was taken by the User called Sheevuh), and I thought it would be perfect for my next color pencil portrait. Six hours after starting and this is how my Golden Retriever pencil painting looked with just one layer of color pencil. Once the entire portrait area (9.5 x 7.5 inches) had a layer of color pencil I then blended the colors using a Prismacolor white pencil. Using a white pencil to blend washes out nearly all the color and seems like a waste of time, but actually this process makes layering pencils easier from this point on due to an even layer of wax over the paper.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Jenga" ~ Finished Portrait

'Jenga' Cat Color Pencil Painting
After many many hours I have decided that the portrait of Jenga is now complete. I thought I had reached this point some time ago so I put the portrait up on the wall and put my pencils away. A few days later I decided I wasn't happy with the portrait so I got the pencils out again and some 20 hours later finally reached a point where I was completely satisfied. I made changes to almost every part of the drawing including the eye and nose, and went over the entire hair! I think the part that changed the least were the whiskers (minus the one individual whisker I removed). All in all I think I spent over 40 hours on this small drawing (8" x 6.5"). This is a bit extreme but it is only my second attempt at a color pencil portrait and I know l have a lot more to learn about the process. Prints and cards of Jenga will be available from my website very soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Jenga" ~ Portrait in Progress

"Jenga" Whiskers and background
The fur now has many many layers of pencil as I tried to create depth using shadows and highlights. For the whiskers I tried to leave the white paper showing through as even the white pencils I had looked a shade a gray compared to this. For the background I used a shade of brown and filled in the areas between the whiskers. First I applied one light layer to the background to make sure I was happy with the position of the whiskers. Once happy I applied more layers using different colors to prevent the background from looking flat.

"Jenga" Making a start on the fur, skin and nose
Once I had the outline down I started to work on the fur in the top left corner. Being right-handed this makes sure I work from left to right and prevents me from smudging the pencil I put down. This is only my second color pencil drawing and at this point I was still getting used to the colors and how they worked together. I used nearly all the grays and browns for the fur and always applied them in the direction of hair growth. The skin a round the eye in very dark and almost black in some areas, however I never use my darkest pencil until the very end, when I am completely happy with the overall drawing. For the skin a round the eye and the nose I applied the pencils in small circular motions.

"Jenga" Outline transferred onto tracing paper
I decided to try a new method of getting the outline onto paper. When I am drawing with graphite pencil I usually draw a grid onto the paper and scale the image up to the size I want. However I didn't want to use a graphite pencil on this piece because it would 'dirty' the color pencil I use on the drawing later. Also, with color pencil being more difficult to erase I didn't want to draw a grid at all. Instead I printed the image and transferred the outline onto tracing pencil using a sharp graphite pencil. I then turned the tracing paper over and on the opposite side applied color pencil directly on top of the outline. Once I was sure I had enough color pencil down I turned the tracing paper over to the original side and positioned it onto a new sheet of bristol white paper. To be sure both pieces of paper wouldn't move I secured them to the drawing board with drafting tape. Using my sharp graphite pencil I went over the outline applying more pressure than usual and this transferred the color pencil on the opposite side onto the white paper beneath. The image above is of the tracing paper with both the graphite pencil outline and the color pencil shading visible.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My very first colored pencil drawing

Duckling colored pencil drawing
So here it is, my very first colored pencil drawing! It started out as an experiment, something small (8 x 6.5 inch) just to try different techniques and to get used to the colors. I told myself at the start not to get too carried away, that it was just my first drawing and not to expect too much at the end.

Anyway, with me being me the perfectionist soon came out and I couldn't help but try and get everything just right. Unfortunately I didn't clock the time spent on the drawing but I'm just going to say it took many many hours!! I reached many points where I was ready to give up, but I am so glad I persevered. I love the final outcome and I couldn't wait to post it on here : )

Monday, February 21, 2011

RJ the Beagle ~ Finished Pencil Portrait

RJ rescue beagle pencil portrait
Here is the finished portrait of RJ the 4 year old rescue beagle. I am extremely happy with the final outcome as were his owners. However I did decide to make a few changes from the original photograph. First, I removed the bone from the bottom left corner so that I could capture more of the leg. Second, I softened the shadows around the facial features which looked rather harsh in the photograph.

If you like what you see, prints of RJ are available for purchase on my website, or why not commission a portrait of your own. Visit my website for more details

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

GiGi Kitty Cat Pencil Portrait

GiGi Kitty Cat Pencil Drawing
I just wanted to share with you my last commission I completed before the holidays last year ~ a lovely little kitty cat called GiGi. I finally found the time to get a copy of the professional scan I had made. Prints are available for purchase on my website

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

RJ Beagle Pencil Portrait Update ~ Head

Beagle dog pencil portrait ~ Head
I continued to use the same method for the right ear, applying H and HB pencil in longer strokes and in the direction of hair growth. To define the ear folding over against the side of the head I used a shape B pencil in an upwards motion. I used a H pencil to add the hairs in the white area surrounding the nose and also to define the shape of the snout. To create the impression of hairs and whiskers I used a technique called negative drawing. This is where the shape e.g a whisker, is defined by shading in the areas around it.  For the first layer of the nose I used a H pencil and applied the lead in a random fashion, followed by a HB pencil in circular motion creating the impression of scales. Once I was happy with the size of the 'scales' and the overall shape of the nose I used a B pencil to define the nostrils, the outer edges and the groove up the centre. I continued to apply the HB pencil to create different shades and used a putty eraser to remove lead to indicate the highlights at the tip of the nose. Lastly I applied another layer of H, HB and B pencil over the entire head.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Beagle Pencil Portrait Update

Beagle Dog Pencil Drawing ~ Outline and eyes
Using the grid method I scaled up the image to a 10"x12" size and sketched the outline using a H Derwent pencil. I always start with the subjects eyes, positioning the pupils and the reflecting light. At this stage I use only H, HB and B pencils.

Beagle Dog Pencil Portrait ~ Eyes and hair
To add the skin tone a round the eyes I use a HB pencil and apply it in a circular motion. I then move on to the surrounding hair. I use a H and HB pencil and lightly apply short strokes in the direction of the hair growth and darken the outline. To create a darker hair tone I position the strokes closer together.

Beagle Dog Pencil Portrait ~ Head and ears
To create the almost black hair at the top of the head and down the center of the snout I use a sharp B pencil. I also apply another layer to the outline of the eyes and a round the reflecting light. I start on the left ear by applying longer strokes with a H pencil in the direction of hair growth. I then add a layer of HB pencil and softly apply a B pencil a round the bottom and right edge. I use a camel brush to soften the strokes and remove small hairs with a putty eraser. I remove larger sections to create the impression of a shiny coat. I repeat these steps until I am happy with the overall appearance of the ear. Now for the right ear .......

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

RJ the Beagle Pet Portrait

I am happy to present to you my first 2011 pencil portrait subject ~ a rescued 4 year old beagle called RJ. I was fortunate enough to spend an hour with RJ where I got to know him and his personality. RJ has beautiful markings and goes crazy when he hears the word ‘hotdog’. I will keep you up to date with my progress!