Oct 27, 2009

Guy – WHIPS 2

Things are going well with Guy. I have got a good handle on his body and after fussing with his eyes I decided to take a break and work on the background. I do find it a bit frustrating to do the backgrounds in a picture like this though. I find that as I draw I am always "suggesting" the details of the foliage and I love to "draw the detail". I know that too much detail will not work in this area but that is the kind of drawing I love to do. Also as you can see I like to move around the picture and work on different sections rather than finish one spot and move out. I find that I like to 'see' what is happening in the picture and be ready for changes if they are needed. I have this vision in my mine and I find my planning work just does not always tell me 'everything' I want to know about my picture. The finished piece will be 9 x 13 so still lots of work to do, so it is back to work for me. Have a good day.

Oct 22, 2009


Guy is an older horse belonging to one of my friends. He is the end of a breeding line that they started many years ago and has been a wonderful riding companion for them for years. Doing Guy's portrait has turned into a wonderful adventure. First of all, my husband, Steve and I travelled out to their place a few weeks ago to take pictures. I thought taking pictures of dogs and cats was tricky, a horse is something else. We took him out to the field and tried to entice him with various food items to stand tall with his ears up in a great pose. He wanted to eat! It took 3 of us, about 90 pictures (thank god for digital) and the better part of an afternoon to get a few good shots. He would be in position but one of the helpers would be in the way, or the light was wrong or I wasn't ready with the camera or . . . Lots of fun, I am sure anyone seeing us in the field would have thought we were nuts. But I found a few shots I could work with and now I am underway. The finished picture will be approx. 9 x 13. I will keep you posted.

Oct 19, 2009


I have been busy working on Tucker and I must apologize for not posting it as a WHIPS. I was so caught up in the picture that I just never got to it.
This was a challenging commission to do. Tucker was the pet of one of my friends and a good friend of my own dog. It was very sad to lose him this spring and we still miss him on our walks.
Tucker is a King Chevalier Spaniel and they are lovely dogs to draw. They have a very gentle rounded nose that gives their face a very pleasant line. It has always caught my eye. Although all of that breed share common colouring each dog has its own special markings. This really makes it exciting as you draw because the more you develop those markings the more their character comes out. I was busy working away on Tucker and suddenly he was there on the paper. I knew I had captured him. Needless to say both his owners and I are very pleased with the results.

Oct 12, 2009

“Who Cooks for You” - Finished

Well I am very pleased to say that my owl is done. It took lots of work to figure out what was happening on the back but converting my photograph to black and white certainly helped. As you can probably tell I made a few changes in the body of the owl. Once I started working on the 'bars' on the feathers I realized they had gotten away from me and I needed to rework that area. I did have a problem with the background too. I wanted to create a believable environment for my owl and so I intended to include lots of branches. However when I had them laid out it seemed like they would overpower my picture. After much fiddling I ended up with this combination. I feel I found a nice balance.
One final note: If you are wondering why I choose the title, "Who Cooks for You", this is what the hoot of the barred owl sounds like when you hear it.

Oct 6, 2009

“Who Cooks for You” - WHIPS

My young barred owl came from a reference picture that my sister shot while she was out walking earlier in the spring. It was a young owl just sitting in the tree looking very lost. She said that she later saw the parents in a tree further away. I decided to use this picture for my demoing at the fair this summer and it proved to be a very good subject. Many people stopped to have a look and to talk with me about it.
I find preparing for a demo where my audience will be coming and going is quite different than one where you have a captive group. I do an outline drawing of the entire picture and then do some detail drawing around the eyes. This leaves me lots to work on and talk about but also gives the picture a focus. I find a good size for the picture is 10.5 by 14.5 as it allows enough detail for different techniques, it is visible from quite a distance and yet still quite portable when clipped to a wooden drawing board. I also pick a subject that does have a background so there is always something that needs filling in but doesn't require careful study. The tree and branches in this picture were excellent for this purpose.
This is what I was able to complete during my 4 days of demoing plus some work on the side. I had to leave a very large section of the one side open as it was not clear on my reference picture and I knew I was going to have to work on it slowly and carefully. I had to leave the picture at this point as I had other commitments but now I am back on track.