Christmas Bearded Collie #1

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

Yesterday was one of those rare days where I didn’t really have any plans. When I got back from London in the morning I painted and watched RuPaul’s Drag Race all day, and it was glorious. If you haven’t had a no-plans day in a while, try it!

Our family friend, who’s currently fostering our puppy Molly until we can keep her permanently, does a lot of charity work for Beardies (and Neardies) in Need, and she often needs things to put in a raffle. Even though Christmas is a long time away, I thought I’d get a head start and make something for her to use now.

The reference picture is an instagram picture from Bearded Collie World. My entire instagram feed is either bearded collies or travel photos.

I know the composition is a bit strange. Originally the pup was going to have antlers but I changed my mind. I also want to widen the hat a little and get rid of the V shape of fur around the nose. Overall though, I’m pretty happy with it. I feel like I’m actually applying the things I’ve learnt from other pieces.

New things I’ve learnt:

  • Yes, you can skip the drawing outline and work directly with paint. That doesn’t mean that you always should though.
  • Be braver with contrast from the beginning! When will I start doing this?
  • Detail in backgrounds might be more time consuming, but they definitely make a difference.
  • Layering isn’t a waste of time, so just embrace it.

I’ll keep you updated with the progress of the piece. Enjoy your tuesday!

This is why you should use an easel

Chatty, Drawing

I was really unsure about whether to post this.

I was on a plane last week, and to pass the time I decided to do a little drawing practice.

I know that ideally you would draw from observation, but the back of the chair in front wasn’t all that interesting.

Instead, I decided to sketch the model from this perfume ad in the back of the airline magazine:

Glossy magazine photos aren’t the best if you’re looking to get accurate insight into the form of the human face or body – Photoshop editing doesn’t really lend itself to that. But since there wasn’t much else that I could comfortably use, we went with this pretty lady.

Now, I’m not the best at drawing. I tend to smudge as I go with my left hand, and I get a little bored of it after a while. But I know that I can produce better than this.

I was relatively happy with it as I was doing it. But when I lifted it up at the end, I realsied that the table tray I’d been resting on had completely skewed my perspective. The result is a slightly mangled fish eye effect.

Like I said above, I wasn’t going to post this. But when I thought about it, the whole point of starting this blog was to have a place to record my progress, and my mistakes. That way I (and anyone else) can learn from them.

The plane journey was to Granada in Spain to go and see my family. I’ve got a painting I’ve been working on out there and I was really excited to get stuck in and update you on here. It’s a Chico Montilla inspired painting of the Alhambra Palace. Unfortunately, over my brief stay I got heat stroke (heights of 47°C!) which knocked me out for half the time.

Next time I’m out there hopefully I’ll have made so much progress  that I can totally transform it.

I have a few other things I’ve been working on to update you on, so they’ll be coming soon too.

Hope you’re all enjoying your Monday!

Acrylic Study #3

Acrylic, Chatty, Step-by-Step

Gosh, a whole month since my last post!

In that month I’ve been to a wedding, spent a week in Norfolk and visited my beautiful puppy Molly a lot! She’s not coming home until the end of July but I am SO excited. I hope she loves Josh (our rescue dog) and doesn’t miss her current pupmates too much.

ANYWAY – here’s the acrylic study of my garden with a bit more detail.

Finally I had the chance to work on it when the weather and time of day was the same as when I started it.

The leaves have grown over the fence so I’m having to start paint in some more leaves in the shadow next to the cabin.

When I looked at the painting for the first time in a while, I was pleasantly surprised! I wasn’t particularly pleased with it when I left it last time. It’s amazing what a difference fresh eyes can make. I’m especially pleased now that the layers of different leaves are beginning to look more distinct. If you saw my first post about this, you’ll know that painting realistic leaves was something that I was really struggling with. Now I feel like I’ve definitely improved!

I’ll keep working on this piece. The big thing I’ve taken away from it so far is that I need to start off being confident with the contrast of light and dark so that I’m not taking as long to create form.

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful start to the month!