….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
I find it terribly difficult to write an artist’s statement. In fact most of the ones I have written are in my own words “garbage. With my time in salaried employment rapidly coming to an end, I am trying to polish up my websites and literature to promote my art and photography.
People that know me will know that I have a passion for wildlife that is my saviour. It is that time spent outdoors that calms my mind, the first flowers after the winter soothe my soul and those fleeting magical experiences and brushes with the wild are wonders to make me smile. I am at my happiest watching butterflies in the meadow, watching the birds gathering food or wading through muddy ponds and streams delighting in the dragonfly wings.
The winter is not easy for me, it restricts my outdoor activities, the lack of light reflects upon my mood and of course my photography also takes a back step because winter scenes do not inspire me terribly.
This is probably why writing a statement right now is so difficult. I also find it very difficult in any way shape or form to be pretentious and I like to introduce a little humour somewhere because otherwise it is just not me. So, I am trying to formulate my thoughts to explain my art.
Lets be honest my art is pretty much always animals, birds and insects through choice. Although it has been said that my pieces are of photographic quality, in fact they are not and I don’t ever aim for them to be so. I try to portray the creatures as I see them. Through my eyes I see many things depending on the subject. In big cats I see a wild spirit, that beautiful intentness that they need to survive and the vulnerability that is inherent in them all.
In pet portraits, I see real characters sometimes tough, sometimes soft but they all have traits of their own. The most amazing thing that I realise as time goes on is the differences between them. I have been requested in the past to do archetypal pieces but, it is impossible. If you were to take five different animals of the same breed, every one of them will be different in a unique way ~ just like people.
When I work on birds, inevitably they are a shared moment. There will be a time where I have been privileged enough to be in their space for an intimate snapshot in time. Although I often work from photo’s, I hold that moment in my head and can see it, the photo merely provides me with the detail for technique.
So how do I fit all of that into an artist’s statement? Hmmm, I think I will procrastinate a little longer and write it in the Spring!
Posted by Chrissy Marie on February 16, 2012
This image was one that I used from the library in Wet Canvas. In fact I seem to recall that I used it several times for both paintings and coloured pencil work. However, after rediscovering an original work in coloured pencil which although I liked at the time, I had originally used dark blue paper which I was never altogether happy with. So for this one I gave it a makeover in Photoshop.
Sometimes, I forget to upload the simpler things that I have just played about with concentrating on those works of art that cut muster. But, now and then it is good to either revisit or look at some of the sketches or smaller works that each often have some merit but lurk at the bottom of the art pile. So I aim to drag a few out…..
Posted by Chrissy Marie on November 11, 2010
Posted by Chrissy Marie on July 7, 2010
Posted by Chrissy Marie on June 5, 2010