July 2020 Projects

Chatty, Drawing, pen, watercolour

I thought, “oh I really must post before July ends” only to see a Hello August! post on my Instagram feed.

12 Days of Beardies: Day 1

Drawing, pen

I haven’t posted anything this month because I’ve been SO CLOSE to finishing a big project.

But I’m looking at it and, I know, I won’t get it finished this weekend.

So instead here’s the first drawing in a series I’m going to be working on.

day 1

Hanging Keys

Chatty, Step-by-Step

Well, quite a lot has happened hasn’t it? Lockdown, pandemic, global crisis…quite a lot really.

My partner and I left London before the lockdown as we were self-isolating and finding it far too difficult to both work from home in our tiny flat. We’re at my parent’s home in Suffolk with my brother and his girlfriend. We miss our little flat and our world together, but I’ve been so grateful to have a garden and outside space.

Truth be told, I’m finding the transition difficult. I worry about work and have been generally feeling quite anxious, which is resulting in over-working and finding it hard to set clear boundaries in the day-to-day.

Josh and Bike #4

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

Guess who left their keys at work? That would indeed be me.

I have a half day, I’m due to finish early, and yet here I am sitting in a Pret waiting to meet my friend and praying that my partner will check his phone so that I can collect keys from him. The thing that annoys me most is feeling like I’m wasting my time. But there’s nothing I can do, so I’m trying to be “in the moment” and enjoy people watching.

I recently FINALLY finished this piece that I’ve been working on for ages. Josh was a rescue dog but the lovely man who rescued him could no longer look after him due to health reasons. He still visits Josh from time to time, which is always lovely. This is for that man as a Christmas present.

The main thing I was working on was detail in the background and just knowing when to leave it. I overworked the dog a bit and I think he began to lose his expression. There’s more I feel like I could add but I think I’d be going overboard at this stage.

You can see the previous post about this piece here.

Beardie Portrait #2

Acrylic, Chatty, Painting, Step-by-Step

In my previous post I started working on a bearded collie portrait. I’ve carried on with it and got it to a reasonable standard to give to our friend in the Beardies in Need charity. I wasn’t sure if I’d see her again before their next event, so although there was lots more I would have liked to add, I decided to give it to her now. Here’s a few close up shots as well as the overall.

I am pretty happy with it overall, and I hope it goes to a happy home, but I was in a bit of a painting funk when I tried to finish it. You know when you just overwork something and it doesn’t really change/get better? I’ve had that over the weekend. Instead, I’ve started a new piece with watercolour and pens. I’m looking forward to trying a different medium for a little while to give me time to fall back in love with acrylic.

For now, here are the beautiful fur-babies from the weekend. The second picture is from Saturday when it was Molly’s first birthday! She’s such a grown up girl now.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter!

Julia

Beardie Portrait #1

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

I’ve got so much to share! I thought about posting all the updates in one post but decided it’s more fun to track each project individually. Anyone feel differently? I’d love to know!

Last year I started this. It was going to be for a Beardies in Need charity event but I didn’t finish it in time. I’m hoping it can go in the raffle of the next event. I started right when I was getting back into painting, so it’s nice to see how far I’ve come already.

I really need some more very fine paint brushes. At the moment I’ve only got one and it’s looking worse for wear. I tried adding finer details and building up texture that way. It’s not an ideal way of working but I think I’m pretty happy with the results so far.

I’m worried about losing the depth of colour, especially as I add the lightest part of the fur (it’s basically white). I suppose I’ll know better when I go back to it with fresh eyes.

That’s all for now. I plan to tackle the right side next time.

Happy Easter everyone!

Julia

Josh and Bike #3

Acrylic, Painting, Step-by-Step

Hi all,

We’ve had more snow here. Luckily it hasn’t disrupted work this time, but it has been extra chilly. Perfect weather for being cosy inside, watching Harry Potter films and doing some painting.

In this post I showed a recent painting I’ve been working on. I’m going to give it to Josh’s first owner, the man who rescued him, when it’s finished. Unfortunately, he’s too unwell to look after him now but he still visits which is lovely!

This is the stage it was at:

I mentioned in the first post that I wanted to work on these things:

  1. I want to block out Josh’s toggle on his collar. It’s accurate, but kind of manky in real life.
  2. I need to add some shadow to the background.
  3. I’m really keen to find a super fine paintbrush and add lots of little details, especially to Josh’s fur!

I was especially keen to add some details into the background and get some practise at creating more realistic scenes. To start I worked on the top-left corner to give it some life. Here’s a few progress shots. Sorry for the odd lighting – I was too into it to remember to take photos when there was natural light:

I’m really pleased with how it’s shaping up, especially the bench, and I feel like my leaves are coming along. Come to think of it, most paintings I did last year involved painting leaves so I better be getting better! Here’s how it now looks overall, with an artificial pink hue:

It doesn’t make a huge difference to the overall impact yet, but doing the smaller details still takes me SUCH a long time. Still, I take much less time to plot out my basic shapes and get colour matches that I’m happy with so there’s definitely progress!

Here’s a summary of a few things I learnt from adding the details:

  • Sometimes, a wash is all you need.
  • JUST USE A TINY AMOUNT OF PAINT!
  • You can never have too fine a brush.
  • It’s more likely that you’ll accidentally make the painting too dark, rather than too light, so keep stepping away and checking the overall effect.

That’s all for now,

Happy week all!

Snow! Josh and Bike #2

Acrylic, Chatty, Painting, Step-by-Step

Hi all,

I planned to update earlier in the week but the snow threw all plans out the window!

I feel like I’ve been working, or thinking about work for the last 72 hours straight. Day 6 tomorrow but I’m feeling good! I won’t go into details, but we’ve done so well recently, and I’m proud of my team and of myself. It’s exciting and rewarding to think of our potential. Definitely worth the mission of getting into work.

Here’s a picture of Molly-Moo looking like a wild thing in the snow:

She loved it! Although she wasn’t such a fan of the ice-ball snow boots that formed around her legs. Josh is also generally less anxious in the snow. My theory is he had a good experience back before he was rescued so has nice associations. (That’s pure speculation by the way.)

Back in this post I showed the start of a painting. I’ve worked on it for a couple of hours more.

The biggest difference is that I’ve added some highlights to the grass, tweaked the scale of the bike, added some detail to the leaves and basket in the background and slightly changed the proportions of a couple of things.

Things I’ll continue to work on:

  1. I want to block out Josh’s toggle on his collar. It’s accurate, but kind of manky in real life.
  2. I need to add some shadow to the background.
  3. I’m really keen to find a super fine paintbrush and add lots of little details, especially to Josh’s fur!

Hope you’ve all been able to enjoy the snow and not been too disrupted by it.