Christmas 2020

Chatty, Step-by-Step, watercolour

That came round fast didn’t it?

I had bigger plans, as ever, to post more and complete more projects. But overall I think I’ve done well this year. I finished the Beardies in Need Christmas cards (I swear I will post about each one soon), finished some pieces in lockdown and even had a stall at a craft fair. It could be worse.

I have one more day at work and then out of office is going on. I think everyone really needs a break this year.

So, let’s ignore the Tier 4 stuff and the fact that so many of us can’t see friends and family. Instead, I’m going to think about what I can have this Christmas.

One thing is, I hope, plenty of time to just do nothing. Maybe Mario kart, maybe a board game, maybe just ditto watching the with a glass of wine and a fire.

Today after work I finished a long overdue Christmas card. It’s going to my parent’s grandparents and includes their two favourite kinds of dogs. It’s been a while since I did a good old fashioned step-by-step post.

As always, starting with the pencil drawing.
I hadn’t done any blurred backgrounds in a while (you know that Nigella Lawson effect? So it was fun to try something a bit different.
Finally I added in the white highlights and filled in the text.

If I don’t post again before, I hope that you have wonderful break. It’s been a tough year but, we’ll make it through.

Stay safe everyone.

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

Christmas Beardie #2

Acrylic, Chatty, Painting, Step-by-Step

You know what’s a lot of work? Puppies are a lot of work. Especially brainy ones who like to explore with their mouth.

Our new Beardie puppy Molly is well and truly settled. Josh, our older Beardie rescue, is mostly indifferent to her. They get on just fine, and it’s nice to see them mimicking one another, but mostly Joshkins is set in his ways.

I wanted to follow up on my previous post about this  Bearded Collie painting.

Here’s the finished result. Josh is in the background ready to go and pick up Molly.

I’m fairly pleased with the result. I like the hat more than I thought I would, and there are parts of the background, like the bark of the tree in the centre, that I really like.

There are also places where I know I cut corners, especially the fur around the nose and the tones in the beard. But I did get it to our friend on time and now she has something to give in charity Christmas raffles.

I’ve been thinking about my painting practice recently. I’m really glad to have done some more realistic pieces, I definitely needed to, but I wonder if I should try some more abstract work? That’s what I always used to do, but I know you need to have a really solid grasp of the fundamentals before you can start extracting ideas and shapes. I suppose you should go with the practice that works for you and just produce something, right?

Any thoughts appreciated!

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!

November

Chatty

I’m currently sitting in Costa in Covent Garden having a chai latte with cinnamon waiting to see my boyfriend and feeling thoroughly festive. The lights are beautiful!

I don’t think you can ever start celebrating Christmas too early. Last year I found that it got to the 23rd December and I was a little disapointed that there were so many festive things I hadn’t found time to do.

This year I’m starting early. Garlands are up (no lights on yet), mince pies eaten and snow balls drunk. And at that moment, Christmas music plays! 

Despite recent political events, this really is the best time of the year.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of artsiness. I thought I’d stick to something chatty inbetween.