Friday 25 July 2014

up date on dog portrait

after a particularly hot few days in the studio this is how my commissioned work looks tonight.the drawing had reached the stage where it required layers of background toning to be applied to help the viewer make sense of the slightly unusual viewpoint and make the 'white' dog stand out from the paper.this stage is where true grit is required for me as there's no quick way to lay in the tone other than laying down the graphite in successive layers using lightly applied overlapping circles of graphite time and time is ,frankly,mind-numbingly boring and repetitive and extremely tiring mentally whilst causing my back no end of trouble from motionless hour after hour but ive yet to find another way that gives me the level of finish I require.there is still much to do but I hope youll agree that some perspective has been created by the addition of he shadow and will re-start on the dog next working on shadow and highlights and hopefully the whole thing will knit together well and shadows look more realistic.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Dog drawing progress

ive spent a couple of days working intensively now on the head of the dog with graphite and blending stumps to reach this stage.i'm happy that,all bar a couple of tonal tweaks,the head is now finished.The body is going to require a lot of subtle blending and 'lifting out' of highlights from within shadowed areas to bring out the shape and form and then finally some heavier shadowing around the dog to lift the whole drawing.Hope you're all enjoying the process and i'll be back with more soon.

Saturday 12 July 2014

commission update

Ive now completed the darkest part of my dog commission which was his ears and using the dark tone set here as a reference point I can now begin to build up the much subtler tones in the dogs coat,which is preominently white and therefore a lot of negative drawing is employed here as I'm drawing shadows to give the piece body.I'm going to put his eyes in fairly early on in the process compared to when I would normally complete them because I feel it gives the client an opportunity to really see meaningful progress from an early stage. as an artist,and I know many of my readers are too,its easy for us to see where the drawing is headed and viewing the mechanics of the process is always interesting but for our clients the important thing is to see there animal appear and know that in choosing us to portray there pet they've made a wise decision.To that end putting in the key discernible features and the animals eyes early on in the process and getting it right will hopefully engender confidence that the finished product will be every bit as wonderful as they had hoped.I hope you'll all continue to enjoy watching this little chaps progress.

Thursday 10 July 2014

New pencil challenge underway

Ive been working on a new pencil commission for a little while alongside my stag painting and now the painting is complete I can devote my time exclusively to the drawing.The subject is a predominantly white jack Russell terrier,sadly no longer with us.its taken what felt like an age to get an accurate rough drawing together that I was satisfied with enough to transfer by tracing onto my prepared HP arches watercolour paper.In this photo I hope you can see how I'm going about tackling the subject.Having got all the elements in place ears,nose,eyes etc  as well as rough interpretation of fur direction ive defined the outline by adding faint layers of graphite around the dogs fur using a blending stump to apply graphite lifted from a scribbled patch of 2B pencil as well as stealing graphite from the drawn outline itself.there will be a large shadowed area in the foreground and r/h side of the drawing and so I'm going very tentatively with the graphite toning opposite in order that I can balance it all out later once the shadow is in place.Ive made a start on adding darker elements to the drawing(in this case an ear) and having the darker elements in place early on will help me judge the very much more subtle toning required on the dogs coat,both in and out of shadow.the ear as with most of my pencil work is built up with successive layers of graphite starting with an H grade pencil and working through grades HB,B and 2B to build the correct tone,highlights and stray hairs will be taken out using an eraser.Hope you'll all enjoy watching this drawing as it progresses.

Monday 7 July 2014

The Contender - Red Deer stag 36" x 34" oil on canvas

There is still a little to be done with this painting but mainly just a little tinkering with the colour of the stags bracken crown.this is a quick studio shot of the painting drying on a stand where i'll leave it for a couple of days whilst thinking about improvements I might want to make.this is my biggest oil painting to date and whilst I enjoyed some aspects of working large such as the ability to work a little looser I still find large oils a little overwhelming especially when it comes to moving them without drama! I hope you've enjoyed watching this piece come together,its certainly been challenging at times.

Saturday 5 July 2014

Red deer stag update

more work on the stags coat and yet more to come.ive added a second coat of oils to the body as I felt it was in need of a little strengthening to help me build a convincing detail coat.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Red Deer stag painting progress

I'm currently splitting my time between this oil painting of a lovely red deer stag and a pencil commission for a client.I hope to be able to post the first instalment of my commission shortly but its taken a long time to get the outline correct on my rough paper and ive just transferred it onto my prepared drawing paper so there's not a great deal to see as yet.In the meantime ive continued with this large painting which is quite a nice antidote to the tight detail required on the pencil drawing!.This is actually my largest painting to date and I'm particularly enjoying the freedom to use larger brushes in a looser style that this allows.