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.
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.
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.
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:
I want to block out Josh’s toggle on his collar. It’s accurate, but kind of manky in real life.
I need to add some shadow to the background.
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.
I’ve had a couple of days of not posting since Inktober, but I’ve continued to draw and paint in the meantime.
Here’s something I worked on a couple of weeks ago.
This is Pogy. He’s a Neardie rescue (meaning he’s sort of like a bearded collie, maybe?) Pogy is super friendly and loves cuddles. He once jumped out a secon d story window and now has a metal part in his leg, but he’s made a full recovery. My dad calls him Seargant Major Pogy because he’s got such a straight back like a meerkat.
He posed beaitfully for me to do a water colour base, and later I added some detail in pen over the top.
Ideally I’d be able to complete the whole study with him as my model, or at least a detailed photo, but that’s ok, it was useful practice. Next time I’d like to have another go with different coloured pens.
I hope you’re all enjoying the changing season and chilly air!
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?
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!