A short walk at last

Today, for the first time in about three months I walked around the top of our hill (I drove up as I’m still nervous of putting pressure on my calf muscles).

It still had a little uphill section at the end (we walked downhill at the start). But I managed OK. I’d decided to go out early, before the sun set, and the sky still had some colour in it when we got down to the area of school playing fields that spread down into the Trent Valley.

On the walk we saw two dog walkers, one with a French bulldog and a Staffordshire bull terrier, the other with two beautiful golden retrievers. Both pairs of dogs wanted a fuss so that delayed us getting to see the sunset. It was only a couple of thousand steps but as I had already walked into town and back I at least got my 5000 steps in. On a cold breezy day it was good to blow the cobwebs away at last.

Cat in window

The cat was staring out at the street as we arrived home, he’s nosy, likes to know whats going on. He likes watching cars but will jump down if he sees a dog. I think he’s been sitting in the window more recently because the outside cat has been coming in and he’s out of the way there. He seems content. He almost knocked the TV off its stand last night when he got tangled in the curtains. Now he’s lying on the floor, sat in front of the heater, washing. He’ll be back on the windowledge later. X

Painting I did a few years ago.

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I think it says 2005.

There had been a massive Tsunami on Christmas Eve in the Philippines. Our offices decided to do an auction I think for a fundraiser and I offered to do a painting for whoever bid for it.

The winning bid wanted a painting of three dogs. I think they are French bulldogs? They were named after characters from Buffy the vampire slayer, which was a popular TV programme at the time.

It’s funny the little details you remember. But yes, I used to love doing pet portrait. Contact me if you are interested….

Watercolour painting

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Several years ago I offered to do a painting for whoever made the highest bid for a charity auction. I don’t remember what the bid was but I did this portrait of the bidders dogs. It’s in watercolours on watercolour paper and framed. The paper was a3 but the mount is wide and cut in more of a letterbox shape because of the composition.

I loved painting them, they have such cheeky faces. I also loved painting the patterned cloth they were lying on. I think it’s a throw.

You know where to contact me if you would like to commission me.

Portraits

 

I think I’m reasonably good at capturing people’s images when I paint and draw both traditionally and digitally. I also enjoy painting animals, and again I need to be accurate in representing them.

There are lots of books and videos to aid drawing and painting techniques. But the biggest thing that helps me is practice. Like anything else the more you do the better you get.

That said, having the book you are drawing in or canvas you at painting on placed at an upright position, either vertical or slightly sloping, helps with the resulting picture. If you draw on a horizontal surface thee picture can end up elongated or distorted. Similarly if you have a canvas in front of you too low down you can end up with a picture where the head may be to big, and thevlegd too small. It’s all a matter of positioning so you see the image equally.

I don’t tend to draw out first, I’m really terrible for starting with the eyes then working my way out! I guess I think the eyes hold the character. If you look at a face eyes are not always level. Because a face is symmetrical does not mean it completely matches on either side. Edgar Allen Poe was photographed, and when you take the two halves and multiply them into two new faces it could be two different men you are looking at…

Anyway it’s too early in the morning to be doing this…

X

P.S. the paintings here are distorted a bit because of the angles they were taken at. I have tried to straighten them up digitally but they are still a bit “off” I will try and get more photos if I can, but some belong to a relative who lives a fair distance away .

Finished painting?

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I’m calling this finished…for the moment, its a question of how much detail I can add….

I enjoyed painting him, but there is such a lot of fur, of different shades, tones and colours, that its hard to get it right. I hope his owner will like him.

I met a lady yesterday who happened to come in to the warehouse at Etruria where we are holding an exhibition and hands on workshops at the weekend at Etruria Industrial Museum – (see my previous blog). She showed me photos of her son’s work, it was stunning! He does paintings of horses, and the attention to detail reminded me of the work of George Stubbs, whose equine paintings are remarkable. We both agreed that Stubbs painting of the horse Whistlejacket is one of our favourite paintings.

So this little fellow will be off to his home soon. I enjoy painting pet portraits, its a challenge to get an accurate image the owner will approve of. There is something about portraits of people and animals that appeals to me.