Thursday, 20 December 2012

London international horse show

Lying up-Red fox original oil painting
terrible photo i know but i quickly snapped it using my camera phone as it was being packed up in readiness for showing on my publisher Collier and Dobson ltd's stand at Olympia for the London international horse show.the painting had been delivered hotfoot from my bespoke framers where it had been fitted with this lovingly hand-finished frame just in time to join more of my paintings and those of several other artists published by collier and dobson on there extensive exhibition stand at Olympia.the show runs from the 18th december through til 23rd december and my work will be available to view and purchase for the full duration of the if your'e in the area and always wanted to see the paintings 'in the fleah' why not pop in and take a look
 at all the amazing art on display.

Leopard painting complete

Ive finally decided to call my leopard oil painting complete.sometimes its tricky to know when to finish painting and this has been the case with this one.i could go on ad-infinitum adding bits of detail here and there but i think ive done all that i can to show of this lovely cat and anything else ,i think,would probably be too fussy or even superfluous in the overall scheme of things.its now going to sit on my easel to dry whilst i get on with enjoying a short break for christmas after which it will be full steam ahead with new oils and a commissioned piece of pencil art.
i wish all of you a very happy christmas wherever you are and hope it will be peaceful for all.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A return to my Snipe painting

whilst i'm waiting for my leopard oil painting to dry so that i can add the last details ive returned to my snipe painting that has been sitting in the studio waiting for my attention.ive now added a second more detailed coat of paint to the bird and its almost complete,just the bill and legs to be done.the foreground will consist of mud and  vegetation as in the original scene witnessed at Oare marshes as a snipe made a quick dash from one patch of cover to another.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

leopard painting-nearly there

the first coat of oil has now been added to the foreground branch and twigs and the painting put to one side to dry thoroughly before i add the detail coat of paint.ive finished the cat now all bar a couple of subtle glazes just to help add a little dimension.cant believe that i'm nearly there with this painting,i honestly thought it may have been consigned to the scrap pile many times.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Waiting for my whiskers

just finished work for the day in the studio and almost finished the leopard in my painting.after a day working on the head of the cat i shall have to put the painting to one side to dry before adding whiskers.amazing how much difference to a cats appearance the whiskers make.once ive added the whiskers and some further fur details here and there i'm going to start work on a little foreground interest to break up the rather imposing tree trunk.but at last i see light at the end of the tunnel with this painting.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Leopard painting update

Having finished my graphite commission of stevie the skunk i returned to my leopard oil painting.i have to say this is becoming a very valuable learning exercise in oil painting and i think i'm already formulating ideas for how i might like to approach further larger scale paintings in the future.For the time being with this piece i am now working on the final oil layer on the cat itself adding as much detail as i go along as i feel able to.most of the body has now been completed bar a few last minute tweaks here and there and ive the two front legs/paws to complete next and lastly the cats head.i will be adding more foreground details in front of the left hand tree trunk to break up the vast grey trunk and hopefully add a little more depth to the piece.once i started on the final coats of oil on the cat it became apparent that my background sky colour was just too blue and so ive had to entirely re-paint that in a lighter colour and i think its helped to gel the painting together nicely.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Stevie the Skunk 19" x 13" graphite

After almost two solid days of layering graphite i feel ive done as much as can be done with this portrait of stevie.layers of H,HB and B have been augmented under stevie's belly with layers of 2B,3B and 5B to anchor her to the ground and try and convey how she is almost lying on the ground when she adopts this pose.the white fur on her back has been shaped and refined and the blacker face and legs have had extra layers of graphite added to heighten contrast and add further detail. i think all that remains to do is add a signature.

Monday, 19 November 2012

skunk drawing-tail completed

A further layer of graphite(B grade) has been added to the background toning to really lift the skunks tail from the paper and final detailing i turn my attention to the foreground toning which will take many patient hours to complete and will comprise of at least four layers of graphite t build up the tone and the shadowing under the skunk to anchor the animal.The skunks pose is quite difficult to describe and not readily obvious from looking at the drawing until the shadowing is added then i hope it will make more sense to the viewer unfamiliar with the contortions that the skunk performs whilst offering a warning to 'back off'.the animal stretches out both front and back legs with its front paws off the ground supporting itself instead on its wrists with its belly consequently close to the this head-on angle its hind legs are pretty much obscurd from view by the front legs and belly fur.the back is arched and that amazing tail is held aloft curled over its back and the fur seemingly seperated into individual filaments.on my drawing you can see on close inspection the first layer of H grade pencil has been applied as far as the front right paw,this will be continued around the animal and then subsequent layers added over the top.

Friday, 16 November 2012

skunk drawing -quick update

This is where i am as of end of the day yesterday with my skunk is an incredibly slow and painstakiing business plotting out the tail fur and layering graphite around it to draw it from the far there are three layers of graphite applied around the tail and once the detail has all been added to it i shall need at least one other layer of graphite to be applied to the background toning before i can move onto the foreground.each layer of graphite is applied using tiny overlapping circles of the  pencil to produce as smooth a finish as possible and takes many hours to complete.this drawing has already taken over 30 hours of work and islikely to be nearer 50 hours by the time its completed.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Stevie the skunk-picking out the detail

The focal point of the drawing is stevie's amazing tail raised up and over her head in the way only a skunk can portray this tail which is for the most part stark white against the white of the paper i'm having to very patiently utilize negative drawing techniques and indentation of details to lift the tail from the paper.the background toning is,thus far,comprised of two layers of H grade pencil followed by a singly layer of HB grade pencil applied very carefully and slowly around the tail details.toning the background is the only way i felt that i could effectively portray the animal however it does add many hours of work to the piece and i havnt as yet decided on how i'm going to tackle the foreground toning.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Leopard oil painting progress

this last week ive been concentrating on building up colours and blocking in details on the cat with a thicker coat of oils all over the  animal in preparation for the third detailed coat of oils where fur details,colours and most importantly the eyes will be refined slowly using smaller brushes to allow me to capture some of the beauty of this leopard.for now the painting has been put to one side again to thoroughly dry whilst i tackle another of my on-going projects.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

skunk drawing progress

I thought i'd post the small amount of progress ive made on my drawing of stevie the skunk thus far.I'm finding this drawing quite a challenge as a large part of it consists of a white tail and upper body and i'm having to layer graphite very gently with both pencil and blending stump to depict the small areas of darker hairs and to try and pick out the white tail hairs against the white of the paper.ive made extensive use of indenting here too when attempting to pick out individual white hairs against black background fur.all this makes for slow going but i'm hopeful it will work satisfactorily.i normally work on graphite pieces once the sun goes down as i find i can work in black and white using my daylight lamps but dont like using colour at night as it never feels quite right and so my oils are worked on only during daylight hours.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Leopard-Still tinkering

whilst the snipe painting is set to one side to dry ive returned once again to my leopard painting.ive re-painted the foremost tree trunk yet again but this time i'm planning to add more interest in front of this in an effort to rid the image of the large slab of grey.made a start on the second layer of oils on the leopard starting with the paws and shoulder.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

snipe painting update

Finished the furthest elements of the background and after being left to dry for a day or two ive now started work on the Snipe.At this stage ive given the bird its first coat of thinned oil and blocked in some of the feather details.The painting will now once again be put to one side to dry before adding more detailed coats of oil paint to the bird.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Start of a new oil

Ive wanted to paint this scene ever since i managed to very luckily get a couple of decent shots of a snipe scurrying from one patch of cover to another.I was visiting Oare marshes in Kent on a bit of a patchy day as winter was just beginning to give way to spring.As i looked through the viewfinder on my camera i caught a bit of movement at the waters edge and decided to follow what i had recognised as the cryptic plumage of a snipe working its way through vegetation in the hope that i may get a decent shot if it emerged at some point.after a few moments the bird reached the edge of one patch of vegetation and made a dash for a further clump of dead and dry vegetation a few yards away and was in the open just long enough for me to fire off a couple of shots.when i got home i checked my camera and was delighted to find a lovely shot of the bird moving quickly and decided one day i would attempt to paint this.And so the day has come to try and do this scene justice in oils.ive decided to work from back to front with this painting as the layers of vegetation will be overlapping each other the further forward the image progresses.i started by laying in the basic background tones for water and mud ,preserving my drawn out snipe as best as i could.i then added some more colour and built up,quite thickly and relatively loosely the water.The painting was then put to one side for a month or so as i worked on other pieces and now having returned to this one i'm now adding the background vegetation and its reflections before i tackle the bird itself.i really know no other way to handle my paints other than in a meticulous and detailed fashion and so i foresee this painting taking no less an amount of time than usual to complete.

Monday, 22 October 2012

stevie the skunk update

Almost all the visible dark fur has now been completed and next i'm going to be attempting to convincingly portray the white fur of body and tail.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

my latest commission 'Stevie the skunk'

ive started work on a newly commissioned work featuring a clients pet skunk.I first met the delightful Stevie when her owner introduced me to her whilst visiting my stand at the marwell wildlife art society's annual exhibition a month or so ago.needless to say she caused quite a stir of excitement amongst fellow artists and exhibition visitors alike and really stole the show.i have drawn one of her owners other animals,an ocelot,several years ago and was delighted to be asked to produce this really special portrait of Stevie.The highly unusual pose was  captured in reference photo's taken at eye level with the animal as she positioned herself into the skunks threatening posture which is quite something to see as the animal seems to rock herself back onto her wrists whilst arching the back and raising and spreading its tail over its a wild animal it would most definitely be a time to make a hasty exit.ive never come across a skunk before but it's immediately obvious that she is a member of the mustelid family with a very cute face reminiscent of polecats and pine martins as well as the feet and claws.this is going to be a pretty tough drawing to get right as a good deal of it is white including the spreading tail and so i'm going to have to think of a way to make it stand out from the paper without actually drawing it,possibly by negative drawing either with a pencil or blending stump.i started with the easier black fur and in particular the head of the animal and now i'm working my way from left to right layering and building up texture as i go to complete the remaining black fur on the body

Saturday, 13 October 2012

more tree work

yesterday i managed to complete the furthest tree trunk and branches and as i suspected it means i will have to re-paint entirely the foremost tree trunk using the same(and better)technique that ive employed on the furthest one.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Leopard painting update

after languishing on the back burner for a while ive finally started work once more on my leopard painting.i'm working on the tree trunk behind the leopard and as you can see its almost complete.its taken me a while to get to grips with the technique necessary to portray the tree bark texture in a way i find convincing and whilst i am naturally very pleased that i feel i'm now accomplishing this it does mean that inevitably i must face re-painting the closer trunk to a degree using that same technique.inevitably this also means further delay in getting around to painting the main subject itself but as long as i feel i can do better i will not allow a painting to leave the studio until ive put my utmost into it.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Lying up-Red fox 20" x 26"

ive now signed my fox painting and whilst i think i could add more to the foreground i also think that it may detract from the centre point of the painting ,the fox itself,and so i'm going to leave it alone.once its thoroughly dry i shall oil out the surface to even up the sheen across the piece,as is often the case when using a lot of browns the surface is quite matt in places as you can probably see from observing my hopeless attempt at a studio photo.i will post a better image after scanning.after spending far too long on a couple of pieces recently i'm looking forward to getting stuck into a few new projects including a couple of intrigueing commissioned pieces.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Red fox painting update

not too much more to do to the fox painting,tail still needs work and then just tweaking details on the animal and a little more work on background details

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Print signing

paid a visit to my publishing house this afternoon to sign prints and approve some new proofs destined for release early next year.The colour images reproduced from my oil paintings are mounted onto thick board and hand varnished after ive signed and numbered  them to replicate the original paintings.cant wait for spring and the release of several new images to the market.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Red Fox painting progress

Apologies for the awful photo quality but here is a quick snapshot of my latest fox painting as it stands on the easel at the end of another days work in the studio.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Fox painting,building detail

Another day's work in the studio see's the beginnings of fur detail being added to the fox.I'm working over the dry underpainting wet in wet to build up fur texture and details.once ive been over the whole animal in this manner and the work has dried i'll then add more details onto the dry surface and use glazing to knock back some of the 'sharper edges'.Work will be interrupted tomorrow as i have a trip to devon planned to do some photography for a client commission.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Finally some progress

Well its been a while since i last posted a wip and i am extremely happy that ive finally shaken off whatever it was that disabled my ability to paint over the last couple of months.At last i'm able to bring some concentration to bear and for the first time in a while felt that things were going my way with a painting.So here's where i am with this fox painting.I had to completely re-think the initial background ideas and simplify matters in order to make sense of it and i'm still working on elements of the foxes surroundings.Meanwhile the fox itself has been underpainted and a little more work completed on the head,there's still much to do but at least i am progressing.i hope that this will now proceed swimmingly,i guess it was probably a little too much to expect that the transition from graphite artist to oil painter would go altogether smoothly without hitch's.i have a further 3 paintings underway including my large leopard painting which has well and truly ground to a halt as i try and work out how to effectively portray the tree its perched in to my satisfaction,it has been re-worked many,many times now and only my stubborn nature has prevented me from binning it and starting on something more in my 'comfort zone',only time will tell if that proves a wise decision.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

'Hare Raising' exhibition at Nature in Art

Let out of the studio for two days on the trot,now there's a treat!.Today i went to visit the latest exhibition to be held at Nature in Art at Wallsworth hall,twigworth,gloucs entitled Hare Raising a celebration of the Hare in art.set in two of the upstairs galleries the exhibition is an eclectic mix of art featuring the Hare,apart from the fabulous paintings on display there are also some wonderful sculptures in both bronze and ceramic that caught my own painting 'Evening light' featured in the gallery i photographed above and i am so thrilled to have a painting on display at this fabulous venue amongst such talented artists.The show runs until the 9th october and is well worth making a trip to see.

Friday, 21 September 2012

something a little different

During the MIWAS annual exhibition i was visited by a client who since i had last produced a portrait of his Ocelot has taken up reptile keeping.Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth i wasnt slow in coming forward when the opportunity to visit his reptile collection was muted and so today i arrived armed with my camera at his premises a little apprehensive but nonetheless excited to view the collection.pictured above are an Emerald tree boa and a hybrid royal python,just two from the many reptiles in the collection.i was particularly taken with the Boa and really would like to try and produce a painting one day but whilst there i learnt so much about these beautiful creatures and just how popular reptiles are with collectors.the Royal python pictured above is a hybrid snake bred for the amazing colours/patternation and was one of many wonderfully exotically marked snakes within the collection,some of them looking almost hand-painted in there exquisitness.i am hoping to re-visit soon and capture more images of the reptiles in the collection as its a subject ive only visited once before with my Young Croc drawing below which proved a big hit with reptile fans.

Monday, 17 September 2012

MIWAS annual exhibition update

this years MIWAS annual exhibition was one of the best attended ever with the new venue of Rookesbury Manor bursting with visitors for all three days of the show.thanks have to go to pip mcgarry and the rest of the MIWAS committee members for all the dedication and hard work that went into putting on this years event at the new location.even in these tough economic times the art market was buzzing with activity throughout the event with visitors absolutely riveted watching artists demo-ing and awestruck by the talent on display.on a personal note i had very good print and card sales throughout the event and managed to attract a couple of commissions for some unusual subjects that i look forward to meeting and photographing.
A client of longstanding for whom i have previously drawn a portrait of one of his Ocelots(yes you read that correctly) visited my stand with another of his animals Steve the Skunk who was very cute indeed and as you can imagine caused quite a stir amongst artists and visitors alike.i am looking forward to producing a drawing of steve in the near future.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Marwell International Wildlife Art Society Annual exhibition

Friday 14th september see's the start of the annual MIWAS art exhibition,being held for the first time at Rookesbury Park Manor near Wickham in Hampshire,UK.This is the largest wildlife art exhibition in europe and runs from 14th-16th september.As well as the stunning exhibition itself,running alongside this event is the ever-popular Art Market where participating artists will be demonstrating and selling prints,cards etc and is a fantastic opportunity to meet the creators of some of the finest wildlife art.I will be exhibiting three pieces in the main exhibition as well as having a stand in the art market where i will be displaying limited edition prints(including some very special show offers),fine art cards and some original works of art.For a great day of wildlife art viewing and the opportunity to chat with some of your favourite artists why not pop along to Rookesbury Manor,parking is free,entry is free thus leaving you more money to spend on goodies in the art market.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

An ambition fulfilled

                                                              'Evening Light - Hare'
Ever since i first visited Nature in Art the worlds first art gallery and museum dedicated to art inspired by nature and saw the inspiring collection of works on display i have considered that it would be,for me at least,the ultimate accolade to have a piece of my own work hung on display at the museum.Since that first visit i have been fortunate enough to have spent several very enjoyable weeks there as artist in residence in the wonderful garden studio and met many fine artists along the way.The latest exhibition to be held at the gallery is entitled 'Hare raising-a celebration of the Hare' and i am absolutely delighted that my painting above  'Evening light' has been selected to appear in the show,fulfilling my long-held ambition, which runs from 11th september through until 7th october.
Nature in Art is based in Wallsworth Hall,Twigworth,Gloucestershire,UK and houses a fabulous collection of nature inspired art,sculpture gardens and a working art studio with artists in residence changing on a weekly basis.For more details visit the museums website at

Friday, 10 August 2012

Underpainting complete

Completed the underpainting for my latest fox painting and its now been set aside to dry for a few days.Whilst it's drying i need to find myself an interesting tree stump to photograph and use as a reference for the tree stump i'll be placing to the right rear of the painting.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

New Fox painting underway

With this painting i'm going to be re-visiting a subject that i first completed as a graphite drawing some 13 years ago now.Foxes,as those who follow my blog regularly will know,are one of my favourite subjects for drawings and paintings and i have completed many fox artworks.This one was published as a limited edition lithograph print right at the outset of my publishing career and was the first of many prints to sell out while i was working exclusively in graphite.When i started with oils this image ,along with a few others,was one of those that i hoped to one day produce a coloured version of.I like to have several paintings underway at any one time to keep my spirits up as sometimes i find myself getting a bit bogged down and bored with paintings which inevitably leads to very slow progress and  a finished job that never feels quite worthy.Having cut and primed my mdf board i went straight into the drawing of the fox outline without any initial colouring of the gesso this time after discovering how much i dislike coloured gesso whilst preparing my leopard painting.Luckily i still have all the photo references i took of the animal as well as a copy of the original print still hanging here at home to glean references from.i intend for it to be much the same as the original pencil version although perhaps simplified a little in terms of items within the painting and more concentrated on the lighting of the piece than could be achieved using graphite.I think i'm going to go with a dark background and a tree stump behind the fox but i want to try and almost have the fox highlighted by a pool of light during its slumbers.This idea may change depending on how it pans out as i try and paint it.using larger brushes ive used undiluted oils for the underpainting but as is my preferred technique ive pushed the paint around a lot and scrubbed it into the surface of the board so that the initial coat is very thinly applied.i love this very 'free' stage of the painting,completing areas very quickly and thinking and mixing on the go as opposed to the more studied approach i'll take to the detailed coats.This is the image as of halfway through the day,the sun came out and i couldn't resist abandoning the studio for a few hours as weve seen so little of it this year,hopefully the initial underpainting will be completed this evening.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Leopard painting

The first stage of this painting is now completed.I like to work from the back to the front when painting and drawing and so the furthest elements of the background have been completed first.after purchasing some ready mixed colours to help me out with the dreaded greens i found they were just as inadequate as my previous attempts at mixing and so i sought advice on mixing greens from some very experienced painter colleagues.Thanks to the wise words i now feel ive finally got a handle on mixing greens and am rather pleased with the colours in this painting thus far.much of this background will eventually have elements of the immediate foreground overlapping it and so ive tried to complete this element a little looser than my usual style by using larger brushes and mixing many of the colurs on the board itself.working on a painting of this scale for the first time i can now appreciate the larger handled brushes and rather like the looser,bolder brushstroke kind of approach even though at the moment it still feels entirely unnatural to me.Next up is to tackle the tree that the leopard is resting in and again i hope to be able to complete it a little loosely leaving the cat only in tight detail.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Into the unknown

Ok so there i was thinking about what on earth i should attempt to paint next when for no apparent reason i took it upon myself to try something a little bigger and more complicated than i had attempted in oils thus far.The painting is the largest ive attempted to date at 33" x 24" and ,frankly,if it ever gets finished it will be a miracle.after looking at techniques employed by many other fine artists i decided that i would add some yellow ochre-ish colour to my final gesso coat to rid myself of the initial stark whiteness of the background only to find that i actually prefer my stark white backgrounds to the coloured version.Serves me right for ignoring the little voice in my head telling me not to be so artyfarty about it and continue instead with my normal working practice.Lesson learned,keep it simple,if it works for me as is then ignore popular protocol.i have started to underpaint the various components of the picture and started with the plotting of the spots on the leopards coat,i have to admit to finding it mind-numbingly boring and so rapidly moved on to other areas.i do particularly like to procrastinate and so blocking in large areas with simple colours suits my working style as i can use this un-taxing part of the painting to think about how on earth i'm going to tackle some of the other more complex parts of the main nemesis,green,awaits in the form of leaves in the background.ive never had a fondness for green and the only shade of green i seem adept at mixing is the one i refer to as 'hideous' an attempt to overcome my shortfall in the 'green' department i am shunning all good advice about mixing greens and have ordered some pre-mixed versions to hopefully give me a the painting is so large i thought i might adopt a left to right working pattern so as not to put my arm in it too often hence some areas are more worked up than others.suffice to say that i anticipate this painting will take some time to complete and in the meantime i have a few other ideas about to start taking shape on freshly prepared boards 

Friday, 13 July 2012

NEWA 2012 exhibition opens

                                                 Avocet reflection SOLD NEWA 2012
NEWA(National exhibition of wildlife art) 2012 opened its doors for the first day of its annual exhibition and once again got off to a flying start with plenty of sales including my little avocet oil above.The show venue is a stunning glass atrium at the Gordale garden centre on the Wirral,uk and the show runs from 13-29th july.if your'e a fan of wildlife art then this show is definitely a must see.the full address for the show is Gordale garden centre,Chester high road,Burton,Wirral,ch64 8tf

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

currently working on some compositions and ideas for oil paintings and finding my attempts to cut and gesso boards being thwarted by the awful wet weather we are experiencing at the moment.i have to cut the mdf boards outside as the dust can be quite nasty and even once they're cut they require 3-4 coats of gesso which must be sanded down after each application.And so i'm dodging the showers and slowly but surely the boards are getting nearer to completion and then i can make a start on some save myself from going slowly crazy in the studio i sometimes resort to sketching to fill in the time whilst waiting for the latest downpour to end,this is a little avocet sketch i completed in an afternoon yesterday.i hope to be able to post some more oils soon.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Fox study complete

Finished this painting this afternoon,although as usual i'll leave it for a few days now and then tinker with it.the completed painting measures 20" x 19".

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Red Fox painting update

yesterday was a particularly trying day in the studio as i was having one of those days when nothing seemed to go right.i had hoped to get the entire fox's head completed but from word go the paintbrushes refused point blank to do as i had desired leaving me fighting with them all day to create something i was happy with.A more sensible soul would have left the painting and gone out for a walk or even better a pint but being particularly obstinate and conscious of just how long it seems to take me to complete a painting these days i decided to struggle on with it.the upshot of all that is that i didnt finish the head and the finish is not quite as fine as i had wished for however i didnt ruin it and therefore live to fight another day.and so here is where i am now,i managed to complete the ear and have progressed about halfway across the head in as orderley fashion as i could muster during my frustration bearing in mind that i knew i'd have to return the painting today and complete this stage before i get onto fine detailing the fur texture and finally adding a detailed second coat to the eye

Monday, 25 June 2012

Back to oils

After my brief spell working with graphite ive now picked up where i left off with my oil painting.The subject here is a Red Fox and it is ostensibly a simple portrait but i liked the slight angled away nature of the fox's gaze and the amount of fur detail captured in the reference photo's i'm using to help put together this painting.It isnt a large painting by oil painters standards at only 20" x 19" but for me its one of my larger paintings to date and i still struggle a little with the scale of these paintings compared to the smaller scale of a pencil drawing and the sizes of brush's i find myself using.Detail still pre-occupies me more than it should i feel and because of the larger scale of this painting i do find myself having to be a good deal more bolder with my brushstrokes than feels entirely natural to someone used to working with such tight detail.I'm determined to get there and despite the temptation to throw this painting at various times ive stuck with it and am now pleased with the look of the fur details on the body of the fox.The head and ears have had a couple of coats of oil thus far to build up some depth of colour and i will be embarking upon some detail here once the second coat has dried.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

presenting 'Cassie' 13.5" x 10"

The portrait of Cassie is now complete.Delighted that my client is pleased with the portrait.Its been interesting and at times challenging to come back to graphite after quite a long break from the medium after spending many months working exclusively in oils.hope youv'e all enjoyed watching the progress of this drawing.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Getting very close to completion now.The lightest areas of the dogs coat are the toughest to get right as i'm still layering and looking for very subtle shifts in tone which demands lightness of touch with the pencils both when adding tone and fur texture details.

Friday, 15 June 2012

yesterday's work on the paler fur details has seen the portrait really start to come to life.ive started to work on the tongue and began toning but ive had to lift out a fair bit of tone and  left the drawing at this stage last night as i was feeling a little jaded.i think the drawing will benefit from fresh eyes today.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

pencil drawing update

muzzle now fully worked up and the long and delicate task of gently layering graphite onto the lighter areas of the dog starts.Here ive added an initial layer of H grade pencil which ive then gone over with Hb and B grades to define changes in tone and to add fur details.the dogs colouration is quite subtley variable in the lighter areas of her coat and so i'm really having to study my reference material quite intently to pick out the tonal shifts and be extra gentle when building up that tone and fur texture so that i dont overdo it and have the drawing become too technically accurate on me.