With the Ashwell Show fast approaching I am still busily completing as much artwork as possible, I had a bit of a layoff when partaking in some DIY having just put our house on the market, for a move to Norfolk. My first piece was a pencil drawing of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which I decided to name "Buster".
A couple of times people had suggested painting a Jack Russell and being a popular breed I decided it had to be added to the dog list! I was very happy how it turned out and seemed to complete it in quick time also, or so it seemed. I named this piece "Patch".
My 3rd piece which I have finished just this afternoon, is a English Bull Terrier which I have named "Archie". I like to give the painting/drawing a name as it gives it character and brings it to life I think. This took me approximately 3 days, but was one I had wanted to do for some time. And over the previous couple of days my wife, Sarah, and I had been in Norfolk house hunting and whilst in Holt we were lucky enough to bump into a couple with a English Bull Terrier, we couldn't resist stopping to talk to them and I just had to get a picture on my phone to help me with the "Bull" painting in progress. But "Stanley", as pictured here below, was just too lovely not to warrant a painting and so I shall be adding it to my list and cannot wait to get started on it....have to complete other work first though.
Here are my latest pieces of artwork, a Zebra portrait using pencil and then I reverted back to watercolour for a portrait of "Snowy", owned by my cousin Sam and her partner Jason. For the pencil drawing I stuck to using Faber Castell and Derwent pencils, by far the best type I have used, mind you I wish the Derwents were a tad stronger and didn't break when you sharpened to a fine point. I also recently purchased a new sharpener made by Derwent and I am very pleased with how good it sharpens. For "Snowy" I gave in to my wife Sarah, and went for a bold orange backdrop. She said how a vivid background colour would boost the picture, as she had seen on some modern pieces, and so I gave in and I must admit I think it works well, next I may use a bright yellow backdrop behind a dog that is predominantly white/grey in colour.
It's been busy busy with the artwork at the moment, I don't seem to have enough time! From the new work, first up was Max, my youngest brothers Shih-Tzu. I stayed with the black paper but used watercolour/gouache to bring out the detail more, and it was good to have a different species of dog to paint also.
Second up was another painting for Becky, this was of her dog Rocky. This took longer than I thought with lots of hair detail emphasising the grey/white hairs. I was glad she liked the painting and I know she has more dogs to paint still !!
I switched back to pencil for the third piece, a head study of a Great Dane. I used some gouache on the eyes to make them really stand out and added a blue to them just to make it pop a little more.
My final piece just finished is a eye study of a horse. Here I used a watery gouache mix for the eye and also painted in the hair the rest was pencil. Planned work is a Zebra in pencil and then probably back to the dogs as I have a few requests of family dogs to do.
Requests for dog portraits seem to be increasing at the moment, I have tried to vary the artwork though by using pencil instead of watercolour. I completed a couple previously that turned out well and so I kept to the medium of pencil for a couple of requests from our friend Becky. She wanted two portraits of pets, Bess & Toby, which sadly were not among us anymore. They turned out to be a challenge as the the pictures which I had to work with were quite old and not very detailed, but I was happy with how they came out and pleased that Becky was delighted with them. I then received another request from Becky the week after for her other dogs to be drawn!! all 5 of them!! I shall be starting on the first soon.
After the commission work I wanted to carry on pencil drawing on black paper, being slightly quicker in creating than watercolour painting it was a good way to build up some work.
"Midnight" French Bulldog
"Raven" Labrador Puppy
Staying on black paper I wanted to get some practice in with watercolour/gouache as it seemed to be ages since picking up a paint brush. I chose a side head portrait of a Bulldog and decided to name the piece Winston. Also whilst in Norfolk for the week with my wife Sarah, I had the good news that Tim and Suzanne of Cley Spy, optics outlet in Glandford Norfolk, discussed and decided that they wanted to sell some of my greeting cards in the shop, wow! All hands on deck now getting some new work submitted for printing as cards.
Here are my latest two pieces of work, above we have "Bully", a watercolour painting that I predominately completed with a thought of a greeting card. I wanted to try another species of dog and with Bullies very close to my heart I decided to choose that, the size and shape of the painting should lend well to a card design.
The second piece was something totally new to me, drawing on black paper. This was fun and reasonably quick to do. Being on black paper I was only drawing the white and grey highlights, so the subject had to be right and what else other than a black French Bulldog. It seemed weird at first not detailing any of the black areas but I was pleased with the effect and will try some other animals for sure.
My wife Sarah had been harassing me for some time to paint Tucker the French Bulldog, so I finally gave in and here we have it. The photo used was one I took at Holkham in Norfolk last year, the reflection in the eye was of a tree that was nearby and rather than change the look I kept it as it was, the look on the face wouldn't of been right if I had corrected it.