Friday, 28 August 2009

chocolate lab commission complete

'cookie' the finished image

close up of the head

After a few finishing touchs and a day on the board to check that i'm happy with it i'm calling this one complete.It has taken a good deal of layering to build up the shiny look to the coat which was necessary as the reference photo's had all been taken with quite strong lighting giving some strong lights and darks to work with.When finishing up the coat i got the opportunity to loosen up a bit and use some good and broad directional strokes of a 3B using the pencil on its side which i find helps with fur portrayal when depicting longer length hair,particularly if its a little curly.i hope the client will be happy with the finished portrait as i know it will mean a great deal to them.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

chocolate lab update

Another day spent layering on this one.Ive worked this one from H grade right through to 3B in the darkest is now progressing on the face and muzzle of the dog having set my darkest tones.Ive left the bottom right hand corner as this too will be very dark using soft grades and so rather than risk too much smudging i'm going to leave this til last.

Monday, 24 August 2009

chocolate lab progress

After my weekend away,ive been getting back into the swing of things with 'cookie',mainly layering the body of the can clearly see the layering process in action here with part of the body layered with H and HB grade and the darker areas worked up thru the grades to 2B having had a couple of layers of B grade to prepare for some really dark areas to come,the layering is quite time consuming and so it will probably take a couple of days to complete the body and move onto the head of the dog once again.

Birdfair 2009

chris rose's stand

john bye's stand

michael warrens art

Several artist friends of mine had suggested that the birdfair in rutland,uk may be a good venue for showing my art,in particular my bird works.
so it was that i decided to pay a weekend visit to the show,taking my wife for company,to check out the art marquee that i had been told so much about.the show largely caters for die-hard birding enthusiasts so i did feel a little out of my depth as i have a good knowledge of birds but i'm not a bird anorak.the show brims with bird observation gadgetry that puts my pair of bins and digital camera to shame,i did pop into the telescope marquee as i have a hankering for one to help me with fieldwork,its very difficult to sketch using only binoculars.i found the ideal one for me but there were no discounts here and ive already found the same thing on the net for far less.whilst many of the telescopes are superb and i would dearly love one the cost of most leaves me recoiling in horror at the price,blimey these birders must be loaded,no wonder the artists report good sales here!.
The art marquee itself was an absolute pleasure to visit with most of the artists a very friendly bunch working together with great spirit,there were a couple of prima donnas but then there always are.
As the temperature reached 29c the atmosphere in the marquee did become a little oppressive but didnt dampen the spirits.there was some superb work on show and despite the gloomy economic conditions a good number of sales.some of my favourite wildlife artists were in attendance including michael warren with his stunning watercolours,the complexity of some i could only wonder at,chris rose with his wonderful images full of light and atmosphere and john bye whose acrylic works truly are photo realistic.
Looking back on the show i think i will try for a stand next year although there is a waiting list,but thats just an indication of the popularity of the show.

Friday, 21 August 2009

chocolate lab progress

Completed the nose and majority of the muzzle now and i am going to complete the layering of the body next as it is so dark and this will give a good reference tonal wise for completing accurately the face of the dog.It's really starting to take shape now and looking like the subject.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

chocolate lab progress

progress so far with the labrador.i have now worked up some of the darker areas of the dog to completion all bar a few final tweaks and am now concentrating on the dogs nose and muzzle.The coat of the dog to the left hand side of the picture has been layered with every grade from H thru to 2B then the fur details were added in and then overlayered again with HB and B grade pencils so that the fur wasnt too prominent and highlights added in with a 2B for the darkest areas.The nose is not so dark with layers from H to B grade and fur details laid in with a 2B,here and there i have scratched in grey hairs again.i also finished working up the ear and now it's starting to look like a lab.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

chocolate lab commission

a quick update on progress so far.easy does it is the name of the game here,slowly buiding up shape and form whilst gradually introducing some can see here i have started to build up tone on the ear starting with H grade pencil and working through the grades quite probably going as soft as 3B untill its finished as there are some quite wide variations in tone on the ear due to the glossy nature of the dogs'll also note the white hairs that i'm having to highlight,this is quite tricky and has been accomplished by a combination of scratching in at the outset and lifting out with blu-tack.there are quite a few white or grey hairs as the dog was quite an elderly animal and just like the rest of us was starting to show it's age.

Monday, 17 August 2009

chocolate lab commission

its taken a little while to get the outline sketch for this one how i wanted it but finally i'm able to make a start on the you can see i'm basically layering the animal using grades of pencil ranging from H to 2B grades.i have worked up a darker part of the dogs face to near completion just to set one of the darkest tones in the piece which will enable me to judge other tones throughout the drawing.the labradors coat is quite shiny so setting a dark value helps when trying to complete the subtle shading in other areas particularly those with quite heavy gloss to them.its important for me to set this dark tone at the outset then hopefully i wont overwork other areas making them too dark.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Golden Eagle study complete.

Apologies for the quality of my photograph,there's quite a lot of glare to deal with here from the graphite.I'll post a decent scan on here once ive had it done.Well i finally finished it after a mornings flurry of activity in the studio and i'm very happy with the result.I absolutely love the noble,fearless nature of the golden eagle and i think ive managed to capture that in this study.And so with job done i'm going to take a day or two off and if the weather holds get down to the hamble river and titchfield haven reserve armed with camera,bins and sketch pad to see what i can find before commencing preparatory work for my next piece which is an unusual one these days for me, a dog portrait.i was asked by an old friend if i could do a portrait of his partners old labrador that passed away recently from some supplied photo's,and so i'll do my best as i know it was a well loved dog.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Golden Eagle update

The picture is now almost complete after another good day's work in the studio.One more day should see this one finished,ive plotted in all the remaining feathers and so i can crack on with gusto tomorrow morning.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Golden Eagle study progress

This is yesterday's progress shot as it's now too dark to photograph the drawing well now.there's a little bit of glare showing up on this one after so much layering of graphite but it's coming along.When i started this drawing (in the dim and distant past now)i thought a nice simple study piece would be the antidote i needed after the 8 week marathon that was the greylag geese drawing.....nice,simple study! who was i kidding,this is taking me forever!.Each feather is being layered in turn using the same grades of pencil and so i'm having to take extra care that the repetitious nature of the rendering process does not reflect in the work itself.So far i think it's working well without looking overworked and so hopefully another couple of decent days in the studio should see this one complete.