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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Pinned to the edge ...

of my comfort zone.
I went big and warped the rules of composition as much as possible.
I craved for a new angle. 
An angle that would emphasise all the strength and power of this amazing horse but also an angle that would defy compositional rules and regulations.
Pinned to the edge was one of my hardest challenges yet. 

The knowledge of my subject (we've met over seven times on the drawing board) and the energy he ignites in me kept me smiling and my pencils fervantly scribbling.
The rest was hard, very hard.
The proportions were hard, the dynamics were hard,  cracking rules to create drama was hard.
Operating for weeks out of a zone of familiarity, uncomfortably hard.
Stepping back, pencils paused, and calling it done: hard. 
Letting it out of the safety of the studio into the world to face reactions: super hard!

One thing though that is in no way hard:  endorsing the claim ... pencils rock!

Pinned to the Edge
Pencil on Paper
Sheona Hamilton-Grant © All rights reserved

Monday, 30 November 2015

Wilma the French Bulldog

After a very enjoyable encounter and "get to know you" drawing sessions, Wilma is off the drawing board and leaving the studio.

Drawing those big honest eyes, getting right into the thick of her facial structures has been an amazing experience. My scribble friends had their work cut out deciphering which way to turn, where to emphasise, what to highlight and what to adjust. 
However, I have it on good authority that the challenge was well received by all and they are now lined-up at the board impatiently waiting to get dug into the next one...
graphite on paper
p.s: If you would like a more in-depth view into the process, three progress timelapse videos can be viewed on my Youtube channel  :)

Thursday, 10 September 2015

"What's Up" new study off the board

After 8 weeks of giving them all the cold shoulder, I warmed up my scribble friends and got tucked into a new compositionally unusual dog portrait.

The reason threefold:

  1. I hadn't drawn a dog for ages
  2. wanted a break from the traditional head portrait
  3. Couldn't resist those wee eyes.

The result threefold:

  1. pencil shavings on the floor once again
  2. back in the groove
  3. new drawing on the board

What's Up
21 x 29 cm
Pencil on Paper

Up next a horse, a beautiful bay stallion.
Back soon ....

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Ready-for-open-day studio pics

went from a buzzing brain to a totally up-side studio back to normality and then over the edge to uncluttered the space of 7 days!

Opening the studio to the outside world was a definite whirlwind of new undefined proportion.

The flip side to the stress is mega: got to meet a great bunch of people,  have new drawing underway and I'm still (amazingly) operating in a clutter-less heaven.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

When my brain buzzes

and goes into over-drive the studio's look's suffer.
Creativity reaches full flow, to-do lists are shrunk,  multitasking king of the mound!
Despite the fog one thing is crystal clear : these are happy days.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Bridgehouse Collections, jewel of the Ems

Did you know that black and white art looks amazing hung on a turquoise back drop?
Neither did I ... until last week.
Yep, last Friday saw the opening of a fabulous exiting interior decor boutique in downtown Warendorf.

Bridgehouse Collections opened it's doors to an enthusiastic crowd.
A crowd which gathered in anticipated delight at discovering the vision of founders Michael Ripploh and Fran Goodsell.
The  resounding "oh's"' &"aaaah's" as the boutique was unveiled said it all.

Much to my honour (and delight) a lovely selection of my work has been hung (for sale) in this new gem of a boutique and looks simply amazing (black and white hung on a turquoise wall is truly genius!)

If you are ever in the area or simply keen on discovering ways of delighting friends and family with special gifts, be sure to keep Bridgehouse Collections on your radar!

Bridgehouse Collections
Emsstraße 22
48231 Warendorf
Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00
Tel: +49 (0)2581 9282208

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Because I'm slow

and need to take my time when drawing, the number of original drawings that come off my board yearly only just make it into double figures.
Each created diligently and lovingly over dozens and dozens of hours.

This leads to frustration (yep!) compensated by either filling the studio loudly with alternative rock, way too many cups of coffee and on a really mad day extremely strange dance moves.
When I say pencils rock they really do but in a slow kinda Zen way ;)

This must be why I've discovered iphotography (which I now use as quick fix for my frustration)
Daily walks take me on compositional adventures.
I don't sketch: I shoot!
Daily and feed Instagram.

In total opposite to the slow brewing and care needed for one of my pencil drawings, this quick and very snappy medium brings a freedom to my creativity and compositional vision. Blink and the light is gone. Hesitate and the moment is a has been.
It's thrilling.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Udemy Drawing contest

Attention to all artists creatives in possession of a pencil, or marker or pen!

Udemy is running a contest.
A drawing contest.

A contest open to all.
You don't have to be proficient in any medium or technique.
All you need is imagination.

Udemy have based the contest on artist Javier Pérez  concept of masterfully finding inspiration in ordinary objects (hair clasp, spring, pencil shavings, sponge, padlock...) and giving them a whole new role.

Want to have a go?
here  is where you can find out all about it.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

4 steps in Paul's finished portrait.

Yikes, more than 17 months have passed since I last drew a dog!
Reason enough to give this new canine portrait special attention.

Meet Paul.
Paul is cool.
Paul is tall, black, goofy and ... camera shy.
Looking away, relaxed, eyes focusing in the distance, anticipating his next move is how I met him, got to know him and had to render him.

Pencil on Paper
24 x 28 cm
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved 

Eye drawn, lay of fur and darkest darks established

Further work on eye, lay of fur and outline of mouth
Adding on layers of darks to establish
shape of nose and detail in  mouth.

Adding more layers of fur and
work on nose, mouth and teeth.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Racing Ready

Hot off the board and freshly signed.
This is "Racing Ready" a wonderful moment captured by fellow artist and friend Linda Shantz on one of her very early morning escapades in Keenland a few years ago.
She gave me the green light allowing my pencils have a wee bash at rendering this amazing athlete (speaking of the horse of course!)

I miss the horses, daily, and wanted to feel one near me.
I figured putting down an extra layer of detail and sharpened the pencils that wee bit more might do the trick.

"Racing Ready"
Pencil on Paper
37x41 cm
Reference courtesy of Linda Shantz

Monday, 11 May 2015

Getting all technical

Done it!
Enrolled in Mike Sibley's advanced drawing online course.
I figured that after all these years of self-learning it was time to let someone else deal with my stubborn mind to get to grips with the technical side of drawing that I have quite happily dodged for too long!
One week in and there is nothing more invigorating than being put in the spotlight and up against oneself and the clock.
I'm a slow worker and there is not time for dillydallying. A lot is packed into each week (I swear I've witnessed a wee bit of smoke coming out of the old grey matter!) plus the summer holidays are just round the corner ;)
Speeding up is good.
It has me way more focused and not so hooked-up on the trivial (although still miles away from working loose!)
The result so far are three OK drawings (One that I put off for 15 years!)
The mistakes priceless, welcomed and never to be repeated.
Watch this space more to come.
The course runs 8 weeks!

Exercise in finding the clues to various textures: here old weathered wood, rusty nails and wood split and applying them to paper.

Exercise in understanding and how to render reflection. 

Study of my own choice. 
Using visual clues to describe any object or surface. 
Here old leather, metal, old name tag and rust.


Monday, 4 May 2015

Going Right...

Going right is what you get when a powerful combination of precision, speed and strength fuse.

This stunning equine athlete had to be drawn, highlighted, brought to paper.
The harmony between horse, jockey and gravity eternalised.
Pencils sculpted and moulded the graphite into shape.
An amazing experience!

Going Right
Pencil on Paper
43x56 cm
Reference courtesy of Juliette harrison

p.s ( a very loud p.s!) Once again a million thank-yous go out to Juliette Harrison for the fabulous reference photograph which is at the source of "Going Right".
Make sure to check out her black and white world. It's beautiful!

Thursday, 2 April 2015


This "in-between commission" drawing has been fantastic learning curve.
Very intense.
I pushed myself out of the very comfy zone I always draw in into a new dimension.
Gave myself the challenge of portraying a stunning horse in all its beauty and strength through a dramatic cropped composition.
All I had to play with loads of textures, light and lines.
Very addictive way of working.
Can't wait to re-offend!

34 x 54 cm
Pencil on Paper
Sheona Hamilton-Grant. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Wee peek into new studio

Now all  the boxes are gone thought you might like to have a wee insider peek of one of my favorite places.

The drawing board

This is where I stand and scribble for hours with passion.
Behind on the windowsill are Kim Santini's beautiful portraits of Jess.
On the back of the board Sallie Gardner at a gallop
Sequence of photographs taken 1878 by Eadweard Muybridge.
Always loved these photographs and was thrilled to find a wall Tattoo to liven up my small all important drawing board.


Adored yellow sofa.  

This is where the sun shines and the inspiration and knowledge fed (piles of art books and sketch pads on and under table).  
Usually shared with a cat and other family members ;)


It had to be big so it's U shaped. 
Decided to not stage a shot and this is usually the way it looks just before starting a new drawing, after having finished, invoiced and catalogued a completed one. 
Really it looks like this for a very short period of time ;) usually there's a special "bomb effect" that hides the white surface....   
Many describe it as clutter! 

Printing and scanning dock

Both mean machines sit in harmony opposite the desk and get linked and hooked up when needed.  
They lived on the desk for ages and really took up tooooooo much room. 
The cupboard is on wheels and is easily rolled over to the edge of the desk when scan or prints or both are needed.
Hanging behind them my limited edition print of "All that Glitters" by photographer Juliette Harrison. This lady is a wiz with her camera

Designer cat bed

My granddad would be shocked happy to see how useful, loved and comfortable the old leather traveling case has become.  
What better way to travel to lala land?

Cat paradise

The two studio cats are quite clearly into antics! 
A nice Louis XV chair makes for an ideal back drop and observation tower (direct view out of the main window). Who knew!

Wilbur and Bernadette

are still going strong. 
By the looks of things not totally sure they trust Ikea's Kallaxs' stability!
Read more about the rascals here and here.

Wall deco (lack of)

Still have not got round to decorating the walls. 
Ideas are there. Time missing. 
These posters and very pertinent quote had to go up (with blue-tack). 
Love the work by the "Glasgow Boys" and totally adore the "Glasgow Girls" especially this painting by Eleanor Allen Moore, The Silk Dress 1918 (Self portrait), as for the quote: 'nough said ;)

Let there be light

Finally after over 4 years of working in a dark dingy environment, the sun now shines invitingly (for hours) in the front area of the room directly onto the sofa. 
The warmth and glow: irresistible .

To quote an old cliche (sorry!) 
"home is where the heart is" 
I'll be darned!
It so really is!