Cheetah complete

The Cheetah is finished. I’m going to have to photograph it again more carefully before I can arrange for prints to be made. This version doesn’t represent the true colours of the actual piece very well, which in turn has reduced the apparent level of detail. Once I have a more accurate copy of it, I shall replace this image. I’m looking forward to seeing the prints of this one soon though.

Cheetah in progress

This is an early stage photo of what I’m currently working on. It’s a quick snap taken on my phone, so excuse its shortcomings! I should really take another photo because the piece has moved on significantly since this photo was taken. Surface area hasn’t increased much, but the colours and contrast are improved, blending is better and there is more fur detail – overall it just looks more realistic, which is always the goal. This is the subject matter I alluded to in my previous update and thankfully I was able to find suitable reference material. There is a significant amount left to do on this, and I might end up posting another progress update before I complete it, but if it all goes well then I would like this to be the first in a series of pieces.
* EDIT – a couple of days since posting this I have replaced the photo with a more up to date version.

Writer’s Block

I don’t know what the drawing equivalent of writer’s block is called, but that’s the best thing I can liken the last couple of weeks to. Repeatedly I’ve decided what to draw next, and repeatedly I’ve changed my mind before putting pencil to paper. One or two people have kindly agreed to my requests to allow me to use their reference photos after I’ve had a moment of inspiration, and they’ve been relegated to the ‘maybe’ list. The photos are excellent, and hopefully one day I’ll draw them, but the impetus to actually get started on drawing them just wasn’t there. Then, totally out of the blue, I knew what I wanted to draw. Unlike previous drawings where I’d seen a photo (my own or otherwise) and thought that I’d like to draw it, this time I know what I want to draw, but I now need to find the exact reference photo I have in mind. To make matters worse, what I’d really like to do is make the next drawing one of a series, so I actually have a whole bunch of references to find. So at least I’m over the writer’s block now – I just have a new problem to overcome!
Meanwhile, prints of ‘Tiger & Cub’ have been popular. Here’s another framed copy on its way to its new owner. If you’d like to buy a copy for yourself there are still plenty left!

New prints released

The following prints are now available to buy: Tiger & Cub, Little Owl and Leopard. If I say so myself, the prints look really good! The original pastel drawings have been carefully reproduced on to high quality Inaset FSC certified paper for a strictly limited run of 100 copies, each numbered by hand and signed. Each one is available to buy as a simple print, a mounted print or mounted and framed. Visit the gallery/shop for more information.

Little Owl

The Little Owl is complete. This picture took a lot less time than the previous two, but I suppose that’s hardly surprising given the amount of white space compared to those. The owl wasn’t without its challenges though, and I’m pleased to have finished it, ready for the next challenge! In other news, prints have arrived of ‘Tiger & Cub’ and ‘Leopard’ and they’re looking good. Individually signed and numbered editions will be available for purchase very soon in the gallery.

Little Owl in progress

I started working on this Little Owl a few days ago. After getting off to a slow start it’s starting to feel like it’s getting somewhere now. As with my previous two pastel drawings, I started drawing on a mid-tone brown paper. Those drawings filled the page, so the paper colour had no bearing on the appearance of the final drawing, and I find a mid-tone paper nicer to work on than white. It was only when I reached the lower part of the owl that I decided on a white background. This drawing is probably around 50% complete so if I can keep up the same rate of progress, I hope to have it finished by the end of the week.

Tiger & Cub

The Tiger & Cub drawing is complete. This piece was done on A3 using pastel sticks and pastel pencils. It took longer than any other piece I’ve done before it. Despite me starting this post by calling the picture complete, I may still make a couple of small alterations. Sometimes when I photograph a finished drawing I get to see it in a different way to how I see it when I’m working on it and only then do I notice things that don’t look quite right. For now, I’ll call it 99% complete. Once I’m happy it really is finished it will be time to get some signed and numbered prints produced which will, of course, be available to purchase from the gallery.

In progress – Tiger & Cub

I’m currently working on this tiger and cub. This photo is just a section of the full drawing which will include the full face of the mother tiger. The drawing is being done with pastel pencils on A3. Once the mother tiger is done to the same degree that the cub currently is, it will be time to add some extra details and do some tidying up, then finishing touches such as the whiskers can be added. This has probably been my most time-consuming piece so far, so I hope that the end result is worth it!

Leopard complete

My first foray into colour and using a medium other than graphite is complete. It was an interesting process, frustrating to begin with as I was getting to grips with the capabilities of pastels, and finding my own way to go about things. I’m certainly not averse to taking advice from people, but I do think there’s also a lot to be said for working out techniques yourself. I’ve learnt a lot from this piece, and am looking forward to approaching the next colour piece with a bit more confidence.

A bit of colour

I decided it was time to have a go at producing something in colour. Having given a lot of thought to the medium I was going to try, I finally settled on pastels. I’d been looking forward to trying something different to the monochrome graphite drawings for a while. The first drawing was always going to be something of an experiment. The process started off in a fairly demoralising way, but as the picture started to take shape, it became a lot more satisfying and enjoyable. I don’t think it’s possible to make the picture look good in the early stages. A couple more layers of detail later and it wasn’t looking much better. Once the highlights started going in, however, it was beginning to take shape, and I resolved to press on with it. Pastels are very different to use than the graphite I’m more used to. They are forgiving, nice to blend, overlay and even mix. On the other hand, they’re almost impossible to maintain a sharp point for more than a couple of strokes, there’s a limit to how much pastel the paper will accept, and the whole thing can be very easy to smudge. Since this quick iPhone photo I’ve added more detail, and have more still to add, then a bit of tidying up, then I will make a start on the other eye.