Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My Tribute to The Auld Yin

The Auld Yin
7 x 11 inches
Pastels on Pastelmat
This is my tribute to a wonderful Aussie Scot, or Scottish Aussie (I'm not sure which is right), that I have had the fabulous fortune to cross paths with on RedBubble. This charming gentleman works tirelessly to bring support, encouragement, humour and wit to many of the artists on RedBubble, myself included. His kind, heartwarming, cheerful comments have brightened my day on many an occasion, and last week I was reading a survey on his Profile Page and discovered that one of his wishes was that he might have a portrait done by me. I was so humbled and touched, and couldn't resist fulfilling his wish, but since I've never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, my only hope is I have captured his character accurately. If you get the chance, check out his RedBubble page and it is sure to bring a smile to your face!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New commission - Reese

6x8 inches
Graphite and coloured pencil on drafting film.
I have always preferred working in colour and have, until recently, thought of myself more as a coloured pencil artist, rather than a graphite pencil artist. But as I become more familiar with, and develop techniques that assist me with the graphite, I find it a more and more enjoyable medium to work with. I would be interested to know if anyone has a preference between those of my works that are done in colour and those done in graphite. This was another wonderful commission to do, as I have been blessed with such a pretty little model.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Latest Commission - Paris

6x8 inches
Graphite and coloured pencil on drafting film
Another joyous commission, because it was such a lovely photo of a gorgeous little child.
This week brings an end to the school holidays and the start of the new school year. January is my favourite time of the year - no homework, sleep ins, relaxed kids and less running around. It always amazes me to hear parents say they can't wait for their kids to go back to school. I love to have the kids home and am sad for this peaceful time to end, but life goes on and with that I brace myself for a brand new year of school life and all that goes with it.
Happy Australia Day for Tuesday to all my Aussie friends!!!!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Some of my Christmas commissions

4x6 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film

4x6 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film

4x6 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film

4x6 inches
Coloured pencils on drafting film

Kerry and Craig
8x10 inches
Graphite and black pencil on drafting film

These were some of the commissions that kept me busy between Christmas and New Year. There were a couple more completed in the the week leading up to Christmas, but the clients requested that they not be posted on any websites, and of course I always respect these wishes. The commissions continue to roll in, for which I am very grateful, but I have had to put all the prices up slightly to prevent getting too overloaded with work. My preference this year is to work on quality, rather than quantity so that the customer feels they are getting something they will treasure for many years to come!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Process of Creating Burton

This gives you a bit of an idea of the process of drawing Burton :)

Latest commission - Burton

8x10 inch
Graphite and Black pencil on drafting film
One of the challenges I face by accepting orders for commissions over the internet, is that I don't have the luxury of seeing the subject in person, or taking my own reference photos. I can't emphasize enough to my customers the importance of having high resolution, quality reference photos in order to produce a quality portrait. But more often than not, the client only has low resolution, fair quality photos and for a variety of reasons cannot access any better quality images. I never knock back doing a commission, but definitely find the process more stressful when working with a lesser quality reference photo as it is difficult to know how much you can deviate from the photo with the aim of producing a more pleasing portrait, but possibly run the risk that you have changed the essence and character of the person or pet you are trying to draw. Which brings me to Burton. In this instance, the reference photo was a high resolution, quality photo and Burton was an absolute joy to draw. Because he was such a joy to draw, I have taken progress scans throughout the process, if anyone is interested in me posting them - it is late here now and time for bed, so there isn't time to post them now. Have a wonderful day!! :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Nature's Palette

Nature's Palette
8x10 inches
Pastel Pencils on Pastelmat
Dear blogging friends,
I must apologize for my lack of blogging in the last couple of weeks. I took our youngest up to Qld to spend some quality time with Mum and all the family and to surprise one of my sisters for her 40th Birthday and then decided to take an extra week off to spend some quality time with hubby and kids who I feel I have neglected in recent months.
The one artwork I have done in the last week is the one above. I ordered some Clairefontaine Pastelmat before Christmas after having some frustrating battles with velour paper. I had read that this paper was something between velour and a sanded paper. I have to say - I am in love!!! This wonderful paper has quite a smooth texture, but accepts the pastel beautifully. The colour application is strong and vivid - there is minimal shift of colour when fixative is applied. The smoothness allows for fine detail work, and blending with fingers or tortillon is a breeze. Once the pastel has been blended into the paper, there is minimum smudging if your hand brushes over an area that has already been worked upon. This paper doesn't come cheap, especially when you add in postage, but I feel it is worth the extra expense because it is so fabulousl to work with. My only criticism is that there were some very faint lines (like ridges) running vertically down the left hand side of this sheet which are still just visible after a fairly heavy application of pastel. I'm not sure if this is a one off, or typical of all the Pastelmat sheets.
So, I will now be offering pet portraits on this paper instead of the velour, and plan to try a people portrait on it later this week and may offer these as well.
I look forward to catching up on everyone else's blogs over the coming days and a Happy New Year to all!!!!