announcing three new dates for my ever popular saturday pencil drawing workshops.the dates are 2nd april,7th may and 4th june 2011.the workshops are held in the studios of Browns Fine Art based in Locks Heath,hampshire and run from 10am-4pm with a break for lunch and refreshments included.during the day i will be demonstrating techniques i use to produce my wildlife art drawings and the days will focus on improving your pencil skills and learning techniques and tips to help you bring your drawings to life.The cost for each day is £30 per head and further details can be obtained by contacting Browns Fine art on 01489 587179
Finished this image up quicker than anticipated today.I've really enjoyed working with all the fabulous textures on this one and of course the magnificent barn owl.The finished image measures 17"x9.5" and once approved by my clients will be whisked away for framing.
Had a great time yesterday in the studio working on the wood textures in this drawing.i always enjoy adding some textural interest and man made objects into drawings as they work so well in graphite.Having drawn the fencepost i thought it still looked a little bit too tidy and so i added the rusty old bit of barbed wire just for a bit more interest and a new texture.
The Barn owl is now complete and ive been able to start on the exciting bit,putting in the snow-clad vegetation.i love drawing snow in graphite,i think it looks so effective particularly when set against a darker background.it adds some lovely contrasts to the drawing.Next i'm going to be working on the old fence post and rail and hopefully making it into a nice old scruffy and weathered post to add some more interesting textures to the piece.
The Barn owl's head is now completed and i'm now making a start on the most difficult bit which is the wing plumage.Barn owl's feather's are beautifully and elaborately marked and the secret to a successful portrayal is to try and capture all the details whilst still retaining the 'feel' of the very soft and fine feather structure.it is all too easy to get carried away with the detail utilising all your reference material and knowledge of the feather structure but i find it best to draw what i 'see' as opposed to what i know is there as this will make the drawing appear more natural rather than overly technical.this is not after all an illustration.
The background toning has now reached a point where it is dark enough to move onto other areas of the drawing without fear of them becoming lost in a sea of grey.there is scope for further darkening here but i'll add more elements before i make the decision on the final tonal range in the background.so far its been layered with multiple layers of H,HB,B and 2B in varying amounts and finished off with a final 'glaze' of H grade pencil.Next it's onto the Owl itself and all that ever-so subtle plumage which again entails lots of very subtly laid graphite layers and lots of little details.
This is the layout for my latest drawing of a Barn Owl.The drawing is a commissioned piece based on an earlier image Winter barn owl and in particular the attitude and pose of the owl itself which was much admired by my clients.I have altered the elements within the picture whilst maintaining the same 'vibe' as the earlier piece.This has been helped no end by the generous sprinkling of snow we had in december and the wonderful reference opportunities that came with it.So far here i have drawn in the basic layout and included some of the wonderful snowclad plants i came across.the background has had an initial toning of H grade graphite which i have blended using my paper stump in exactly the same manner that i used to create the original image and the background itself will be worked up first to look as similar to the original as possible.
I am absolutely delighted that two of my bird drawings 'Saker Falcon study' and 'Low Tide-Little Egret' were chosen by the author Tim Wootton(himself a fabulous bird artist-check out his blog on my bloglist) to appear in his new book 'Drawing and painting birds' alongside bird art from some of my all-time heroes like Robert Bateman,John Busby,Charles Tunnicliffe and of course Tim Wootton.This fabulous new book is a must for all budding avian artists and bird art fans alike with a wealth of useful advice and tips to improve your bird renderings as well as a collection of the most magnificent bird art.published by Crowood press at only £16.99,a better book on bird art would be hard to find.
I'm happy to call this portrait finished now.Amber has been quite a challenge with her paler coat which has meant for many layers of very subtle graphite shading to build up her shape and form without becoming too dark.i altered her neck slightly to slim her down a tad and have re-toned the background once again to try and achieve the perfect balance of tone in the image as a whole.She will remain on the drawing board until her portrait receives the seal of approval from my clients.
Background re-toned again and lots of subtle tweaks here and there and Amber is slowly emerging.i have a few more minor alterations to make to this piece before completion including just trimming her scruff down a little but other than that ive just the neck to complete now
Ambers face has been layered multiple times with graphite ranging from H grade thru to 2B and fur detail added.once the face was completed the ear had to be darkened slightly as well as the nose.i have added in ambers collar and started the initial layering of graphite on her neck using an H grade pencil,much more to go however ive decided to add more tone to the background as its a little pale.this has been layered with many,many layers of H and HB and once again i'm going over it as you can see with yet another layer of graphite to knit it all together nicely
I would like to wish everyone a very happy new year and a hope that this year will be a more peaceful and prosperous one than of late for everyone. i apologise for the lack of postings of late ive been suffering with a bout of flu and my head is just starting to feel re-attached to the rest of me enough to attempt some work.there isnt much progress to report on my portrait of amber the labrador but i'm hopeful that as i feel better so amber's progress will accelerate.her ear is more or less completed,some little bits to do here and there but it can wait for now.ive added in the darkest areas first and unusually for me at this stage that includes the eyes because they are amongst the darkest areas on amber's face.this is a work in progress and so they're not fully finessed yet but nonetheless they're presence helps me get the overall tones of ambers face correct.the face itself has had the first layer of H grade graphite applied and will require further layering to bring out the subtleties in her coat but already i can see that the background toning will have to be adjusted later on.
South coast based Clive Meredith is an entirely self-taught artist and has been working professionally since 1993 specialising in detailed portrayals of wildlife from both Britain and abroad. Clive's initial interest in wildlife and the countryside was fostered in his early years, brought up the son of a dairy farmer, and spending hours outside in the Shropshire countryside birdwatching and larking about on the river Severn and its streams in his hometown of Shrewsbury. Working in both graphite pencil and oils,observation is vital to Clive's working practice.Each drawing or painting reveals meticulous attention to detail,achievable only by hours spent in the field observing and photographing subjects in their natural habitat.As a result Clive has become renowned for the stunning realism of his images and an incredibly assured ability to inject real life and character into his works. His art has been extensively published with over 50 limited edition releases to date and can be found in galleries throughout the uk and beyond. In 2010 Clive was named Wildlife Artist of the Year by Wildscape magazine after winning the prestigious annual competition with his image 'The Egret pool' and appeared as a finalist in the DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010,2012 and 2013 with works exhibited at The Mall Galleries in London. Clive is a member of the Pencil Art Society and the RSPB.