….seems to be a theme right now! However, I had one to do of a little one that I wanted to also deliver whilst on my holiday. Although, he has grown up a little since the reference photo was taken, I wanted to draw him before he grew up too much more:
Again this one was pastels on pastelmat.
I completed some more of the Sketchbook project before I went off on another trip:
I quite enjoy the research to go with the images. The next pages followed a trip to the Wyre Forest:
It is probably time to do some more now. I do have plenty of material and idea’s for art too. However, I do need to catch up on the washing a little first…………….
Posted by Chrissy Marie on June 28, 2012
I thought that when I finished work, I would get to blog a little more often and wouldn’t get so behind on my reading either. So far nothing could be further from reality. At the beginning of the month I was getting pretty down with the constant rain, so I turned to sunnier times and started painting Skiathos.
Oil on Canvas ~ Olive Grove Gateway
Little did I realise at that point that I would end up there very shortly but, I did and I went! Although, I didn’t much art while I was out there, I really did make the most and gets lots of reference material. A small selection is over on my photography blog.
As a result of my last portrait commission, I also gained another one which needed to be a little larger than normal. Again I used pastel on pastelmat, the size is roughly A3.
This one has all been framed up now and is ready to go…….
I also decided that I would do the Art project this year. I have always wanted to do it but, I was ever conscious of time! The best thing for me is that they have also opened it up to photographs which was the clincher. It means that I can incorporate all of my mediums up which I love to do. I am sure I still have that paper cutting in my blood from constructing greetings cards and scrapbooking. I also love quotes and saying so in every way, I was more inspired to do it. Since arriving back from Skiathos, I have put together the cover and a few initial pages:
I will also be adding some small sketches but, I confess that this size is a little small for me. Most of my work tends to be at least A4.
Otherwise, I have been working in the garden; planting, weeding and tidying. For those that have known me a while, it is almost back to the pre-accident days. I have to ensure that I monitor my time for anything too physical but, I have found that if I do an hour a day, my knee doesn’t complain too much. So, this was the back, the front garden is next!
Have a great weekend all especially, as here in the uk, we have jubilee celebrations
Posted by Chrissy Marie on June 1, 2012
I haven’t done any crafting for ages but, recently I took a trip to a local garden centre and saw a sign for the garden that I really loved. It provided me with the inspiration to have a go at something similar for our own garden. Of course I didn’t make it the same, it was made from copper and besides it is always nice to be a little inventive and make something that has your own stamp on it. Andy very kindly supplied me with a scrap piece of sheet aluminium which can be cut with a pair of sturdy scissors. I used that to give strength to the form. I downloaded a colouring project for kids butterfly template I then cut up various bits of paper and stuck, stamped and embellished. Tim Holtz distress stamping pads were duly dragged out of the draw for the first time in a while. I used an old bracelet that was originally from a car boot for the chain and left the little charms on it because they looked so pretty.
Lots of odd beads from my stash were added via some necklace wire and ear-ring posts.
Anyway, this was the end result…..now all I need to do is find some kind of waterproof coating. It is presently hanging in the conservatory until I can find a cost-effective method.
Art wise, I have spent some time undertaking a person portrait for a change. They do take me a while, the accuracy has to be very great so consequently the initial drawing takes me longer and I tend to spend a while making tiny, tiny adjustments. This was one for a man we know, who has the nickname of Elvis ~ I wonder why?
As a consequence, I now have another request which is currently on the drawing board. She is female and blonde, so a direct in contrast. An obscure fact about my portraits is that I get though two 3 way sharpeners for every one I do! You all really wanted to know that didn’t you?
If anyone has any ideas for recycling, do let me know. It seems a shame that I throw so many away. They are fine for normal pencils afterwards but once they lose that initial edge, they are useless for pastels!
Otherwise, I have been busy working away in the garden painting out there too ~ sadly it was the garden decking and furniture with staining oil! But, it is beginning to look quite cared for out there now. If it ever stops raining, it will be nice to get out there and do some art.
We have been out and about among the downpours and Spring is definitely in the air, if a little on the chilly side. Although, in the south the insects have been early this year, the emergence of ours all seem later than the last couple of years.
Meanwhile, I was kept quite busy this week over on my photography blog ….but, that is a different story. If you have made it here from over there, my apologies if I haven’t got around to visiting you yet…I am working my way through steadily
So with thoughts of Spring (not mentioning mint sauce at all), have a great week everyone.
Posted by Chrissy Marie on April 25, 2012
For this post, I though I would post up a step by step guide of how I complete a pet portrait. I very rarely manage to take photo’s of the process all the way through but, Andy pointed out that people often like to know how a piece of art comes about.This is Holly, a labrador and I used a photo reference from Paint my Photo.
Initially I start with a drawing putting in as much detail as I can until I am happy with the overall look.
Being right-handed, I always start on the left uppermost corner. Using any kind of medium in black and I will inevitably smudge it if I don’t work systematically ~ as it is invariably I end up looking somewhat sooty I use little strokes in pastel in the same direction as the fur making sure that I leave in the highlights where the fur catches the light.
I continue working across and downwards mainly just in black pastel until I get to the eye. When I am detailing the eyes, I always put in the white light highlights initially and then a layer of yellow. Whilst this initially looks quite odd, it builds some depth into the eye.
I will then input the pupil and start adding colours to the iris, fanning out from the pupil like a star.
For the next stage I continue with the fur and also turn my attention to the nose. The top of a dog’s nose catches the light but it is usually textured so to provide this texture I cover the top of the nose in small white dots.
It is at this stage that I will introduce a little more colour, in this case Holly has a certain peachy colour around the nose area in particular. When I feel happy, I will then use a Q tip and gently blend my strokes. As I build the tones around the nose, attention is paid to those areas that are dark like the nostrils and ensuring that I get the shape of them accurate. It is small features like this that really do determine the animal. If you look at several Labrador’s, I can almost guarantee that they will not look the same. A lot like people really!
I continue in the same manner as previously being careful to adjust little things as I go but also not too much. Seeing half an animal can skew the perspective and I am always glad to get in the second eye so I see the whole thing coming together.
Finally the finished piece!
Posted by Chrissy Marie on April 17, 2012
It has been a while since my last update. I have been busy with a whole bunch of things, trying to reclaim the garden area being top of the list. I finished work two weeks ago and don’t seem to have stopped since. When I have got a bit further ahead, I will post up a progress report…
This piece of art was a recent commission. Toby is a Collie cross German Shepherd with a great expression. I decided to simply use pastels for this one ~ because he has a lovely soft look, I thought pastels would work well for him.
Posted by Chrissy Marie on April 7, 2012
I think most artists have heard of the sketchbook project. I have always wanted to take part but I know that to commit so much time would be very difficult for me. My days are always packed with a variety of things and even when full-time work ends shortly, I still seem to have lots of ongoing projects already. These are the ones that I know about
However, I do love the idea of an art exchange and this one is a 4 by 6 inch piece to be sent to the Brooklyn Art House by 31 March. So, I went ahead and signed up…work is completed and now I just need to post it. Here is my piece and some time in the future I look forward to receiving mail with art in it!
With it being an international swap, I deliberately chose a very English subject. This is a small wood white butterfly on a bluebell taken from a photo in the Wyre Forest last year. If you too wish to join in, the link is here.
Continuing in this theme, I have also used a photo from a couple of years back when we had an influx of Painted Lady butterflies. This one was on an a lovely bunch of Wild Scabious which is quite prolific on an old disused runway.
Meanwhile, it will be back to coloured pencils/pastels for a little while for my next commission.
Outside, we are having a spate of typically Spring weather. So far this week we have had snow, rain, wind, sun and the temperatures have swung wildly. But, the blossom on the trees and the bursting buds tells me Spring is near!
Posted by Chrissy Marie on March 8, 2012
I seem to only ever choose flowers as subjects in the Spring. I think it is seeing the first blooms that inspires me to commit them to paper, sometimes with more success than others. When I decide on a subject, I often take a look at various tutorials and also some of my own reference books if I haven’t covered the subject previously. I no longer follow them properly because I like to paint in my own style but, I do find some of the tips invaluable. I also find that nowadays the first effort might not be what I set out to achieve but, rather than bin it, I look to see what is was that marred the effect. This year because I have so many reference photo’s I really wanted to have a go at snowdrops. I painted the first effort with a springlike feel but it didn’t work out too well. One of the problems I had was that I used photo references which had various stages of bud opening. I painted one that was very widely open and it screamed off the page as not being right.
So I learnt from this and decided whilst one or two unopened buds are ok, for art, there really does need to be a measure of consistency. I also found that with the pure white colour, spring colours were almost dull. So, I added a little drama!
One of the tutorials I read, stated that you should picture the subject in the environment, naturally in the wind and elements with movement. This statement really grabbed me. For once rather than painting vases of flowers, I was painting my own photo’s but in my mind I could see them outside…..
Perhaps, because I am more of an outdoors person, I have really loved painting flowers in their natural state much more than any still life could ever inspire me to do.
Incidentally, the inspiration in the first place was to paint a few daffodils as a card for a friend. This also went a little pear shaped as I am not so good at working small any more. However, knowing this I chopped a piece of paper down to A4.
Yes, I filled the A4 piece of paper. Now, I have big cards but not that big….so I had to go for round two. This time, I decided to cut the paper to the card size…
I got there in the end! meanwhile, I confess I am off on one. It has been a while since I followed my own whims and completed work for the heck of it! I am having fun
Posted by Chrissy Marie on March 1, 2012
Shortly before Christmas I was asked to undertake a commission as a retirement gift. It was a bit of a breakaway for me, I don’t do buildings very often. However, I got to take my own reference photo’s and I did enjoy doing it. I find watercolour very different to working with coloured pencils or pastels. I really do need to concentrate quite hard and distractions irritate me no end!
This means that currently I don’t work with them too often as I am too tired for the level of concentration required after a full days work. Hopefully, I may get to do some more when I finish work because I do enjoy painting if I am in that frame of mind.
I did receive a lovely letter of thanks from the recipient which I really appreciated. I shall file it away in my portfolio, I like to keep those little bits and pieces as a record of some of the projects undertaken. Meanwhile, I am back to painting flowers, they are not my normal subject either!
Posted by Chrissy Marie on February 23, 2012