Having done an impromtu leaflet drop at a local Dog grooming and supplies shop I was approached to do a commission of a lovely Spaniel called Ziva. The client sent me some cracking photographs, which always makes my life so much easier.
I completed the first commission and was kindly invited back to see the final framing
which look great.
I really like another of the photographs they sent me which lent itself to a different layout. I'd just ordered some new boards in different sizes and decided to try one out using a more sketchy part painted part drawn style. I also tried to stick with larger brushes to start to keep it loose and not too detailed.
This is the initial paint sketch planning out the shapes and darkest areas.
When I delivered the initial commission I showed this work in progress and the client liked it enough to request the finished piece as an additional commission.
Here is the finished painting.
It's currently winging it's way to the framers so I will look forward to seeing how it turns out.
Well after a long time away from the blog, and before I head off for a Summer of sandcastles and ice cream with my family. I thought I'd touch base on a few commissions I have been working on lately.
The delightful Rosie was my first border terrier with some lovely colours in her fur. It took a while to get the photograph with her ears up but really captured her character so I great pose from her in the end.
After a much needed Christmas break I've just been reflecting on the madness before Christmas. Lessons learnt this year maybe an exhibition two weeks before the holidays whilst completing final commissions was a bit ambitious. Having said that the exhibition went well and it was fab to have shared the experience with my two good friends and art buddies. We left feeling tired, proud and a tad tipsy on the mulled wine.
Sales were good and the all three etchings went to the same collector (apologies for the poor images) which made the experiments in working on a series worthwhile.
Another commission and a first for me was a portrait. Although I have drawn and painted portraits before this was my first commissioned one... yikes....it was a challenge. Unfortunately I made a school girl error and didn't get a good image of the completed piece so here's a progress shot and a "poor" snap of the finished piece.
I've been working on some fine liner studies this week. These form the basis of a series of etchings entitled Stars n' stripes. Inspired by Instagram photos by #gather_cheshire.
I like working with fine liner pen as it forces you to commit to the marks you are making. The graphic element that the stripes give to the image really interests me when mixed with the block feel of the stars. On the final etchings I am planning to add pops of colour with tissue paper or ink wash. I'll update with the final images when they are completed so watch this space.
As promised details of our upcoming exhibition titled "Print, Pastel & Paint".
Myself and two fabulous 'creative' friends are coming together for an exhibition which is the culmination of many years work, copious materials and the occasional glass of wine and slice of cake. I have to say, the regular shared creative get togethers we have enjoyed over the years has had a massive impact on my motivation and the development of my art practice. Without out them I would still be buying sketchbooks and not actually doing anything in them.
We invite you to visit us at the Bear Steps Gallery from the 10th - 23rd December 2017. The gallery is a community art venue that holds exhibitions for artists in Shropshire, promoting local talent. It is a quaint old building with a fascinating history and sits close to St Alkmunds Church and the Bear Steps Coffee House.
Entry is free.
Bear Steps Gallery, Alkmund’s Place, Shrewsbury SY1 1UH, England
Of course its not all about creating the artwork. As much as I'd like to spend all my days painting & drawing there are other jobs to be done. In preparation of an upcoming exhibition I've been shaking the cobwebs off my design head and sorting some new cards and flyers. I'm pretty pleased with them too.
More info to follow on that exhibition I mentioned....
I don't know about you but I always like to see how other artists develop a piece of work. Recently I've got into a habit of taking progress shots as I work on a painting. In my earlier post I showed you a picture of Daisy one of my commissions, well as promised here are the progress shots.
After making a quick pencil sketch to get the proportions. I then start blocking in the darkest areas followed by some mid-tones. Then I like to drop in some highlights and start to get the eyes worked in. Once I have the eyes right (the most important bit for me). Its helpful to get my background colour in before revisiting the tones and adding detail. The background colour can really make the tones look different so its important to get it in early. I am trying at the moment not to get to fiddly with small brushes as I like a looser overall feel with maybe a little sharper detail around the nose and eyes.
Anyway I hope you like seeing the process.
I will be running a couple of workshops in November the first one is a two hour introduction to drawing. I love drawing from the process of mark making to the way it gets you to really look and observe the world around you. I equally believe that these skills can be taught and get real pleasure from seeing students grow in confidence as they learn to think and look differently.
6.30-8.30pm Tuesday the 14th November 2017
This course gives a short introduction to drawing.
Looking at tone and mark making with a 2B pencil.
Followed by the use of negative space to interpret form.
An excellent sampler for beginners who want to 'have a go' before committing to a more in-depth course of study. Price £20 – ( £10 deposit required on booking )
All materials are provided along with the essential tea/coffee & biscuits. Location - Gather of Cheshire, 3 High Street, Congleton, CW12 3BN
Two commissions completed this month. Lovely Daisy the Cocker Spaniel, I really enjoyed picking out the blue shine on her coat so complemented this with the blue background. Watch out soon for my pics of the process Daisy went through on the easel.
The second picture is Bella a wonderfully lively Shih Tzu. She was a challenge to photograph because she just wanted to run around, got there in the end though with the help of some dog treats. This painting I hope captured her character.