Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Christmas to all my internet friends & a reflection on 2009

8x10 inch
Graphite and coloured pencil on drafting film
What an amazing year 2009 has been!!!! I have been doing commissions right up until yesterday morning, but have decided to take a three day break to spend some quality time with family. Many of my customers requested that I wait until after Christmas, before posting their portraits on my website or blog. This time last year, I was flat out with my nursing career, feeling very stressed and quite disillussioned, and spent every spare minute on my art. This year has been such a journey of self discovery. I had no idea when making the decision to leave nursing whether art would provide me with a sustainable income, or whether I could find a sense of purpose and fulfillment from something which up until then was purely done for enjoyment. There is always a risk, when taking a hobby and turning it into a business, that some of the enjoyment disappears. I must admit it has been a year of ups and downs, where too many times I have been filled with self doubt. My wonderful, supportive husband and the fabulous friends I have made through various internet sites, especially through blogging, are the two treasures that have lifted my spirits whenever I feel lost. We come to the end of 2009, and I feel such a sense of peace and purpose. The commissions are coming hard and fast (I have 5 due in the New Year), and whilst this means there isn't a lot of time for being truly arty and creative, I think my current need was more to find a purpose from the art, and there will be time down the track for really exploring my own creativity. For now, I am thrilled to bring joy to others through commissions, and my other big goal is to write a book down the track on drawing photo realistic drawings on drafting film. I would like to take this opportunity for thanking all of you who have supported me and encouraged me throughout the year. You have no idea how much this has helped to lift my spirits on those days when despondency sets in.
Wishing all of you the most wonderful, magical Christmas and lets hope 2010 brings success and happiness to you all!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Latest Commissions - Ashton

8x10 inches
Graphite and black pencil on drafting film
Still going on Commissions, and in between commissions, I have been so inspired by Barbara A Freemans fascinating description about silverpoint, and have been experimenting with that, so will post a WIP once the commissions slow down a bit. A huge thank you to Barbara for sharing her knowledge and journey in working with silverpoint - please visit her blog if you are interested in this medium.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Latest commission - Little Cat

Little Cat
8x10 inches
Pastel on Velour
Here is my latest commission. I love working on the velour paper, but had problems this time with the pastel powder falling away. I usually do the whole portrait, fix it, and then rework highlights and details, which is what I did here, then went to scan it, and a whole lot of pastel powder fell on the scanner. So I reworked it, fixed it again, and here we are. I was wondering if anyone has used Pastelmat. It is not readily available in Australia, but I have read it requires less fixing than the velour, so thought I might order some from overseas. I'd love to hear if anyone has feeback on the Pastelmat. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Latest Commissions - Ivy and Bo

8x10 inches
Graphite and coloured pencil on drafting film
8x10 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film

These are two of my commissions from this week. Of the two, believe it or not, Ivy was the easiest to do. Poor old Bo is no longer with us and so I was working from some older, quite fuzzy photos - this is a Christmas present from his Mum to his Dad and so hopefully I have done him justice. He is a Blue Merle Collie cross.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Facebook Groups

I have created a couple of Facebook Groups if anyone is interested in joining them:
Pencil Artist Friends and Miniature Artists. I must admit I really don't get into Facebook in a big way - my poor long suffering friends mus find me a bit useless in this area, but I can see it's potential for getting our art out there to a wider audience, so anyone is welcome to join. I also welcome suggestions from anyone on how to add to or improve these groups.

Am still working on commissions, but a couple of them are children, and I always seek permission before posting them, so back to work.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Next Commission - Jen's Portrait

Jen's Portrait
8x10 inches
Graphite and coloured pencils on drafting film
Almost on top of all the commissions. The joy for me, is the variety of subjects and mediums that are requested which means each commission is a new challenge and there is never time for boredom to set in. I am ever grateful for the opportunity to do art on a full-time basis and, hopefully, bring some happiness to people along the way!!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Latest Commission - Charlie

7x10 inches
Pastels and pencils on Velour Paper
This portrait is actually a Christmas present for my youngest son's Kindergarten Teacher (hopefully she doesn't read my blog!!!). Off to put up the Christmas decorations with the kids now, and then back to the drawing board. Hope our friends in the US all had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving and a New Commission

Sarah & Joey
8x10 inch
Coloured pencils and Pan pastels on drafting film
This commission is for my neighbour to give to her daughter. Their dearly beloved budgie has not been well lately, and just in case anything should happen to him, they wanted a keepsake to remember him by.
A few months ago, I discovered Pan Pastels, and for anyone doing people portraits, these pastels are a wonderful way of helping to smooth the skin out as you are in the finishing stages of a portrait. They respond well to an application of fixative.
Wishing all our friends in the US a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, friends and loved ones.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Commission - Cali

8x10 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film
Three more commissions and I will finally have caught up on orders, and can reopen my stores again. Thank you so much to anyone who is waiting for a portrait - I do appreciate your patience.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Getting there - Another Commission - Rachael

8x10 inches
Graphite and coloured pencils on drafting film
I go into a bit of panic mode when there is a backlog of commissions to do, as I don't like leaving clients waiting too long, but I am slowly starting to catch up. Thankfully today the weather has cooled down to a lovely 20 something degrees celcius - much more civilised!!!!
Cheers to all :))

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Latest Commission - Monk

8x10 inch
Coloured pencils on drafting film
Meet Monk - a 15 year old blue heeler/terrier cross.
On a serious note, my thoughts are with any of you in the UK caught in the floods and I do hope they subside quickly for you. Thankfully for us, today isn't turning out to be quite as hot as the weather people predicted, and so back to work for me!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Newest Commission - Lily the Whippet

5x7 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film
I am making very slow progress on my commissions at the moment. In the last week we have had four days that have been over 39 degrees C (102 degrees F), and yesterday the mercury hit 42. We haven't even reached summer yet - it truly does get you thinking about Global Warming. I much prefer to snuggle up in warm clothes on a cool day with a nice hot cuppa, then melt in this heat, and find it quite challenging to be as productive as normal when it's hot!!! Enough of the whinging, at least I am blessed to be able to follow my love for art on a full-time basis and have more blessings than I can poke a stick at - back to the drawing board!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Latest Commission - A Day to Remember

A Day to Remeber
16 x 20 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film
This is my latest commission and what a marathon it has been - it has kept me out of mischief day and night for more than a week. I did have reservations about working on such a large scale but for a special request like a wedding day, how could I refuse. I know now why I usually opt to work on a smaller scale!!! Back to work now, as I have a backlog of Christmas commissions to do. I do apologize to anyone who is wanting a commission done at the moment, as I have had to put all my stores in vacation mode whilst I catch up on all the orders.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Collectible Custom Miniature Art Jewellery

Years ago, before getting into art in a big way, I used to make little silk ribbon embroidery ornaments and sold them on consignment in various shops. It occurred to me, yesterday, that the supplier of these little picture frame stands also made some wonderful other castings that might be suitable for collectible art jewellery. What a delicious day I had today, going back to the shop where I used to buy these castings, and then sitting down to make this first combined pendant-brooch. The cat artwork is 3x4cm (1.2 x 1.5 inches) and has been set under a layer of resin, the pendant-brooch is 4.5 x 5.5cm. I am going to offer commissioned pet and people portraits as custom jewellery from my Ebay and Etsy stores.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Half Price Clearance on selected Framed Miniature Artworks

Eastern Rosella
70mm x 95mm
Watercolours on Fredrix watercolour canvas
Carousel Horse
70mm x 95mm
Watercolours on Illustration board
Fishing at Greenwell Point
70mm x 95mm
Watercolours on Rtistx 300 Panel
The New Dawn
70mm x 95mm
Watercolours on Fredrix Watercolour canvas
Joker's Muse
70mm x 95mm
Watercolours on Fredrix Watercolour Canvas

This is a sample of some of the framed miniature artworks that I have just placed for sale in my Etsy Store and they are all being sold at half their original price. I have reached the point where the one wall that I have allocated for my artwork is now saturated and it is time to make way for more!!!!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Latest Commission - Soulful

7x8 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film
I know I said I wouldn't upload the second pug portrait, but it's a woman's perogative to change her mind, but no progress shots this time. After doing two portraits of pugs in a row, I have fallen in love with these beautiful little dogs - so much character in their wrinkled little faces.
A wonderful day full of smiles to all of you!!!! :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Latest Commission - Kit

7x8 inch
Coloured pencils on drafting film

Most of my commissions seem to be cats and people, both of which I love to do, but it was fun to do a dog for a change and the pugs have so much appeal. I have another pug to do tomorrow, but won't upload the finished portrait, as it is quite similar to this one. I have included the WIP shots, but got so consumed at the end that I forgot to head back to the scanner - you get the idea anyway. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WIP - A Touch of Nostalgia

I love old world images and have a passion for anything antique, and so, with this in mind, I felt like doing a larger piece this time, (8x10 inches) but still want to include all the detail that goes into a miniature (Call me crazy!!!) This is a combination of a few reference photos - some were taken in a little country town called Wollombi by my parents-in-law, and the reference photos for the horse and carriage were taken by us in another charming country town called Morpeth, both in NSW.
On another note, I recently discovered Pan Pastels, which are quite different to work with to regular pastels, but they are perfect for doing larger areas such as the sky in this artwork. After doing the initial drawing on drafting film, I covered the lower half with Frisket, and then applied Pan pastels to the sky. Fixative spray was then applied, and now comes the fun part of filling in all the fine details. I'll keep you posted as this one develops.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our new nephew Jack

5x7 inches
Graphite Pencil on drafting film
It can be such a difficult time for some couples when they decide to start a family, and, where many couples seem to fall pregnant so easily, for others it is far more challenging as months, and sometimes years, go by without that much desired result.
Such was the case for my wonderful brother and his gorgeous wife, and so our excitement was intensified when, early this year, we discovered that they were finally going to get their little bundle of joy. And here he is - Jack. I have yet to meet my little nephew, as all my family live over a thousand kilometres away from us, but I will hopefully get to meet him in the not too distant future.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Latest 4x6 inch artwork - Santa Claws

Santa Claws
4x6 inch
Coloured pencils on drafting film
Christmas is a funny time of year. As the decorations start to appear on the shelves of all the stores, I am filled with a sudden panic at the thought of all that has to be done in the 8 weeks between now and December 25th - shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, cards, the list is endless and overwhelming. But then the inner child emerges and the bright colours of Christmas, the joy of listening to much loved carols, the anticipation of the season to come takes over and I am filled with an urge to kick the season off with a Christmas OSWOA. I hope it brings out your inner child as you all face the weeks to come.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Prints removed from Ebay

I just received my first statement from Ebay since they revamped their fee structure on items that used to be in Store Inventory, and almost fell off my pirch to see how high the fees have become. It really is not worth listing cheaper items such as ACEO prints on their site anymore. So, in the manner of some of my fellow internet artist friends, I have just removed all ACEO prints from my Ebay Store. They are still all available from Etsy however. I do hope this doesn't cause inconvenience to anyone, but it was no longer sustainable to sell prints when the fees were higher than the profit margins. I will still be selling Commissioned Portraits from Ebay as well as from Etsy. A wonderful day to all of you!!!! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Commissioned Portrait - Poppy

4x6 inches
Coloured pencil on drafting film
Since my last post, the illustration job I was working on has fallen through as the client guided me through some of the sample illustrations she had seen and wanted me to do similar. However, all the illustrations she had seen had been done with a computer illustration program and there is no way I could hope to achieve the same effects with coloured pencil, so we mutually agreed to end the project. As an artist who prefers to work with materials I can use with my hands, it is hard to compete sometimes with the world of technology. Hopefully, there will always be people out there who still love to see a drawing or painting created by hand. At the moment, however the commissions are coming in droves, and I must say I'm enjoying them - The joy and appreciation that comes from the clients makes it all worthwhile!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It never rains but it pours!!!

To all my blogger friends, please excuse my absence of blogging and commenting on your own wonderful blogs lately. After a quiet couple of months, in the last two weeks, I have been inundated with 6 requests for commissioned portraits, and a large Illustration job. These are some of the commissioned portraits - the illustration job will keep me out of mischief for the next few weeks. So, I hope you understand if I am a bit more quiet than normal. It is always wonderful to have the extra work, so I'm not complaining!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Little Flower Girl

Little Flower Girl
5x7 inches
Coloured Pencil on drafting film

Oh what fun I had doing this piece, especially after doing a few graphite works. I just loved doing the colours and textures and was quite happy with it until I started on the legs, where I struck a few problems with the darker shadows. Not to worry - I have decided to frame and keep this piece (something I rarely do) because the colours make me happy. A huge thank you to Juno Kughler Carlson from Artist Friends Network for supplying the gorgeous reference photo. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

More Graphite with a hint of colour - Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom
12.5 x 14.5 cm
Graphite and coloured pencils on drafting film
This is the third in the series of graphite pencil portraits with a hint of colour. The reference photo for this lovely little fellow was kindly provided by Juno from Artist Friends Network.
I approached North Light Books to see if they might be interested in a book on producing photorealistic work on drafting film. They were very interested in looking at a book proposal, but only on traditional supports, rather than the drafting film. I feel there is an abundance of books out there about achieving photorealism on paper and more traditional supports, and will persevere with the idea of a book on drafting film, mainly because there is so little information out there about it. From the publisher's point of view, I guess it is best to stick with safe ground. From an artist's point of view, I feel we are always hungry for that elusive medium or support that will help us achieve what we would like to achieve in our minds eye, and it is always so exciting to try new mediums and techniques.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Latest Graphite portrait - Wonder

5x7 inches
Graphite and coloured pencil on drafting film
I started this one again, after getting halfway through and being dissatisfied with the smoothness of the skin (my husband says I'm a perfectionist - how rude!!! LOL ). The next day, I went out and bought some graphite powder, emptied out my minerals powder foundation from it's container, and filled it with some graphite powder; and dug out some of my softest makeup brushes. I then applied the graphite in much the same way you would buff mineral foundation onto your skin and was much happier with the results. The mineral powder foundation container has little holes in the lid, so I could give it a shake, and get just a hint of powder and then use the makeup brushes to pick it up. Perfect!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Graphite with a hint of colour - Pippa

This is the first in a series of portraits I would like to do combining graphite with a hint of colour. The reference photo for Pippa was kindly provided by Andrea (Pencil Painting Network) and is of her delightful daughter Pippa - isn't she a cutie!!!! In future, I am going to try to avoid portraits with too many dark areas, as blending the dark to light proved a frustrating challenge, but we got there in the end.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Graphite Portraits - latest artwork 'Bright Eyes'

Bright Eyes
Graphite, black pencil and sgraffito on drafting film
I have always preferred working with colour, but lately have been dabbling with graphite pencil, and think I could become addicted. Whilst I adore colour, it is such an interesting exercise to focus only on shade, light, tone and texture. This latest work is of my neice Katie, and I will now be offering Commissioned Graphite portraits on Ebay and Etsy and from my website. My next project is to combine a bit of graphite with colour for some variation. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful day!!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Latest Commissioned Portrait - Loki

5x7 inches
Acrylics on Claybord
This is a commissioned portrait, and my first attempt at airbrushing and also using the claybord. I love the effect of airbrushing - although I know I need a lot more practice. In this case I used acrylic inks when airbrushing, but I notice they wash off quite easily, so would probably stick to watered down acrylics in future, unless anyone has some hints. The Claybord is beautiful and smooth to work on, however, the portrait has scanned badly, with all the highlights being over exaggerated (pinks and blues) and I would imagine this is due to glare. Back to the drawing board - but oh what fun it is to experiment!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Latest OSWOA - Whistful

4x6 inch OSWOA (Original Small Work of Art)
Graphite and black pencil on drafting film.
This is my latest 4x6 inch artwork. I will now be offering graphite pencil commissioned portraits from my Ebay, Etsy and Artfire stores. This original is available for sale now on ebay.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Entry for the Illustrators Australia 9x5 Exhibition

20/20 Vision
9x5 inches
Acylic on Plywood

This is my entry for the Annual Illustrators Australia 9x5 Exhibition where the theme for this year is '20'. How strange it was to go from working in miniature to working on such a large scale - a very interesting exercise!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More samples on Rtistx Panel

Fishing at Greenwell Point
7cm x 9cm
Watercolours on RTX300 Rtistx Panel

Celebrating Australia Day
7cm x 9cm
Watercolours on RTX300 Rtistx Panel
I have uploaded these two artworks, which were done last year, to give viewers more examples of what is achievable on the Rtistx panels. They are great for doing smooth washes and for painting fine details. There is actually a panel specifically for watercolours, but it is more like a cold-pressed finish. These two artworks were done on the smoother RTX300 board, and are currently on display at the Australian Society of Miniature Art National Awards Exhibition.

Mini Portrait - Reece in Acrylics

8cm x 11cm
Acrylics on RTX300 Rtistx Panel
Recently my nephew, Reece, expressed disappointment that there wasn't a portrait of him on my website, so with his birthday looming soon, I thought it was a good time to remedy the situation. Still experimenting with acrylics, I dug out some Rtistx Panels that I bought a year ago to do watercolours on. For anyone who hasn't come across these panels before, they are an absolute delight to work with. They come in four different surfaces, and the ones that I purchased were the RTX300 which are suitable for Oils, Acrylics, Pen & Ink and pencils. They are sturdy 3mm boards with the finest tooth surface, and I have to say I am a bit happier with the end results of the acrylics on this board over the colourfix paper. For more information on Rtistx visit

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Mirror Image" ACEO Acrylic Painting

Mirror Image ACEO
2.5 x 4.5 inches
Acrylics on Colourfix Paper
Here is my latest ACEO. I must say I find doing the acrylic paintings much slower than the coloured pencil on drafting film, but it is always good to try new mediums. I am interested whether visitors have a preference for one medium over another with my art. I find it easier to get a crisp, bright image with the coloured pencils on drafting film, but I feel sometimes those buying art value paintings more. This little painting is available to purchase from my ebay store.
Cheers to all :))

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New OSWOA - Portrait of a Tabby

Portrait of a Tabby
4x6 inches
Acrylic on Colourfix Paper
I have recently been introduced to the world of OSWOA (Original Small Works of Art) (thank you Vic) and am interested to test the market when compared to ACEO's. I like the fact that they can fit into a standard photo album, or small frame, without having to get a custome frame. Being a miniature artist, I actually find this size HUGE - LOL - but it is great for a change. Also new for me, is the medium of acrylics. Having never really worked with them much before, I was initially frustrated with the speed at which they dried. But since using the wet paper towel on my palette, having a spray bottle of water on hand, and with the help of some mediums, I am slowly getting used to them. This painting is available in my Ebay Store.

Friday, August 7, 2009

OSWOA - Muhali, Baby Gorilla

Muhali, Baby Gorilla
4 x 6 inches
Acrylic on Colourfix paper
On Monday, we took our youngest to Sydney's Taronga Zoo, and one of our highlights was this eight month old gorilla, who stole our hearts. It was fascinating to watch the gorilla's behaviour and the parrallel's between them and we humans. With four sons, and three of them in their teens, I was amused to watch two adolescent gorillas wrestling with each other and struggling for dominance, whilst their silverback father looked on with mild interest. I lost track years ago of the number of times we have asked our boys to stop wrestling in the loungeroom (usually just as the news started!!!)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Slightly larger paintings.

Can anyone tell me what the acronym is for the miniature / small paintings that are slightly larger than ACEO size. I know I have seen them listed under a specific name, and would like to do some slightly large paintings than ACEO, but just want to do some research on the size requirements for this category. Any help much appreciated :))

Friday, July 24, 2009

Latest artwork!!

Aren't holidays wonderful for fostering creativity - I was so much more productive in the glorious relaxed mode of vacation than I can ever hope to be in our usual hectic life. I think we should go on holidays more often!!!!! These are the 6 artworks completed whilst we were away:

Party Animal ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches)
Coloured pencils, ink and markers on drafting film
MacCheeky ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches)
Coloured pencils, ink and markers on drafting film.

The Flame ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches)
Coloured pencils and ink on drafting film.

Sweet Dreams ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inches)
Coloured pencils on drafting film.

Fagan Park Fine Art Miniature (6.5cm x 9cm)
Coloured pencils and markers on drafting film.

Cool Relief Fine Art Miniature (6cm x 8.5cm)
Watercolours on Illustration Board

All ACEO's are available for purchase from my Ebay Store. The fine art miniatures will be saved for Miniature Art Exhibitions.