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Thursday, 29 November 2007

Latest commission, little westie portrait


I love it when a plan comes together! A cliché but holds true right now. Commission completed and accepted!!!
Here is Keltie a lovely little West Highland Terrier. I've drawn him in profile as it seemed the best way of bringing out his eyes. Westie are always hiding behind a little bit of a fringe. Had a ball drawing this hairy chap, it was not as hard as I had initially believed. I reckon the fact that the hairs are white and not black helped heaps!
Inspiration still running high so its back up to the studio for me. Cheerio

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

QUICK drawing entitled Look Out, learning speed



Completed this little drawing in 1h50. Third in the series "2h drawings".
The results is mediocre (to say the least) but the lessons learned priceless.
Speed scares me and freezes my senses. Taking up this challenge on a weekly basis is targeting one of my biggest weakness head on. Whether it will help on the long run goodness only knows but sitting back and saying I can't do it for sure wont. New one next week. Who knows maybe it will be a little better. Cheers

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Just a few words from a flattered pencil artist.

Yep!
I am flattered.
Flattered that someone in a time of great sorrow would thing of turn to my work for help. Today I have just been asked to draw a dog who sadly died of cancer 2 days ago. This is the second order this Christmas season when someone has asked me, within days of loosing their companion, to draw a portrait in their memory. I must admit, being asked to portray deceased pets and individuals happens quite often but never within a couple of days of the subjects death. I feel very humbled that someone should feel that one of my drawings will be a source of comfort and maybe help in the mourning process.
I also feel very pressured (in a good way!) to do my utmost to bring the portrait to life. The degree of difficulty is also higher as I am not able to meet and observe my subject.
All in all, this type of portrait is a major challenge and, I believe, what this business is all about: illustrating an unforgetable memory.


Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Juliet Harrison an equine photographer.

Paying tribute to fellow artists is something that I hold dearly and that I am trying to make a regular feature on this blog.

The artist I would like to introduce today is Juliet Harrison.

Juliet is a talented photographer who, like myself, is passionate about the equine world, passionate about portraying it in black and white.

Most of the time in our world of art, fine art and photography interact, hold hands and sit along side each other.

The question has always been if photography can actually be considered as an art form?

It is the easiest medium to use but the hardest medium in which to establish a specific style, a physicality.

It is my belief that photography becomes and should be considered an art form once a photographer has established a clear footprint. Once a photographer has managed to give his or her work a signature.

Juliet Harrison’s work qualifies.

Her black and white images define her vision. A vision which she has signed and made her own. A vision through which she has found and defined her style, her footprint.

Her equine photography, as it should be, is very specific to Juliet’s vision of the equine world.

Her work is beautiful in its simplicity.

There is boldness seldom seen in equine photography making it fresh and controversial..

Black and white are her colours, light and contrast her brushes.

She uses light effects to highlight shapes and frame movements. Works such as “at the Pull”, “Tony my Peace” or “Dapples” have this edge, this harmonious focus on reality.

Her subjects are bathed in light. Juliet uses the grain like a pencil artists uses the tooth of the paper creating a clear yet mysterious touch to her work.

The effects achieved are surprising, complex yet simple. Her skillful use of light and creative perspective shows harmony and serenity. Something intangible yet memorable emanates from her work. The viewer is mesmerized, becomes lost in reverie. Horse and light collaborate, fuse together creating layers of power and harmony which are unique, which are Juliet’s footprint.

Her work bonds reality to a monochrome world where emotion, shape and shade and shadow take centre stage.

Her Landscape series is a sensitive, intimate journey displaying views of the horse’s anatomy. Layers of movement, light, contrast, lines and emotion are clear to see in “Undulating Hills” Hilltop” and “Valley”. A beautiful journey into a very private equine world.


If you would like to discover more of her work, please visit her website at http://www.lechevalthehorse.com/

Monday, 12 November 2007

Sketch of young foal...a trial



OK so the challenge was put out: draw from a given ref photo in 2 hours and than show the result. I rose to it.
This sketch "Sketched Youth" is the result of 1 hour and 20 minutes fast loose drawing. I used sepia and brown charcoal..not the best sight in the world but such a major breakthrough out of my comfort zone. I may even do another one and who knows it might improve. Cheers

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Reflected layered and finished, my new figurative drawing


Here is Reflected..a little stepping stone in my figurative art.
A drawing studying a childhood fascination with reflections, reflections of all kind.
I tried to bring emphasis to the reflected image as opposed to only the little girls curly locks. Framing it with lines and using subtle contrast, the viewer is drawn to trying to imagine the little girls expression, the look in her eyes.
I used the really smooth Mellotex paper and spent a long time rendering the darks. The smoothness of the paper really gave a nice texture to the window pane.
Lessons in patience and technique have been learned and my fingers are itching to get back up to the drawing board.
Back soon but in the mean time all the best

Pencil artist genius Mike Sibley





All sorts of reasons have brought me to want to mention the artists whose work I admire and whose work is really too good not to mention. These artists all have a direct influence on my work or way of working and are helping me become the best artist I can.

This is why would like you to discover the phenomenal work of Mike Sibley.

When you think of pencil you automatically think sketches, drafts, layouts but there is a great deal more to pencil, to the art of graphite than you could ever think possible.

One of the best in the business is Mike Sibley. Look and study his work and you will be mesmerized (in my case inspired). His eye for detail and sharp controlled use of pencils is just plain stunning. Specialising over the years in drawing dogs, he has brought every canine race to life. The realism achieved is uncanny, extraordinary.

Trial and error have enabled him to fully understand all the intricacies of both pencil and paper. By mastering his technique to perfection he has knocked down any kind of barrier. Textures, light, shape, features there is absolutely nothing he can not render incredibly well.

My favourite pieces have to be "Just thinking" a drawing of incredible skill, showing a gorgeous Newfoundland looking at a scavenging gull. In the back ground a boat. The drawing shows sensitivity, integrity and mesmerizing skill. The hardest thing is to take your eyes off it!

In "Barn Patrol", Mike achieves flawless rendering of the dogs but has also been able to take his drawing that little bit further, add another level. The entire background is as precise, studied and real as the foreground. It could stand alone.

"Just Dreaming", the title is so appropriate. Again the balance of thick woolly dog coat contrasted against smooth water is pure "eye candy". You look and look and … look again.

("Just Thinking", "Just Dreaming" and "Barn Patrol" have been illustrated in this blog entry with the kind permission of the artist.)

Mike is an artist of indisputable skill and vision. His work is living proof that graphite knows no barriers, shies at nothing and can conquer realism perfectly. Every shape and form known to man can, with skill and patience, come out of the tip of a pencil.

If you would like to see more of his work please do not hesitate to go straight to his website at: www.sibleyfineart.com

Cheerio for now

Monday, 5 November 2007

New drawing coming along nicely, finishing layer missing

Ok, so my last entry was a couple of weeks ago and my mood a little frustrated.
Things have evolved and my mood calmer.
Half term is over and the girls back in school.
Today was my first day back at the drawing board after a week of "family management".
My new piece "reflected" is nearing completion and will be out in the open in a couple of days time. It has been a very difficult drawing where I have been tackling hair, wavy silky fine hair.
Before posting I want to tweak it and add the little "oomph" that is missing. I am quite excited as it is something very new for me.
Another mile stone so to speak.

Oh and before I sign off here is another great blog to check out. Empty Easel full of brilliant advice and some great articles and resources for art lovers and artists alike.