My representation in pastel of a carpenter at work

One of the many visitors to our garden is the great spotted woodpecker. It is also a favourite of mine to create as a pastel artwork. Every woodpecker painting I have completed has been sold to other woodpecker admirers!

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The key with any artwork I create is a detailed photograph and I found this delightful image on pixabay.com posted by Jeffrey Wilson. Using sharpened pastel pencils I can add details of feathers, bring out the character in the eyes and create texture and depth to the tree bark. A work in progress video will follow soon if you are interested…..

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After 25 to 30 hours work I have created this irresistible “carpenter” now framed and available for sale to anyone out there who also loves the Great Spotted Woodpecker. Enjoy your day! ( and excuse the less than perfect photograph – trying to avoid flash reflections…..)

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My latest commission delights it’s owner

A few weeks ago the owner of this beautiful spaniel called Pimms contacted me through my website to ask if I could do a commission of her. It was to be a birthday present for her partner Clive. She had found me by googling ” animal artists in Herefordshire” and chose me because she liked the quality of my work.

We travelled down to Dymock in Gloucestershire to met Victoria and Pimms, and my wife Cath took a series of photographs from which Victoria chose her favourite. I do prefer to take our own photos to get the best possible detail, light, contrast and character. The eyes are particularly important to get perfect as they can make or break a portrait. Victoria chose E but which would you have chosen?

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I completed this portrait using soft pastels and pastel pencils on Canson Mi-Tientes Touch pastel paper. The sharpened pencils create the detail and the background is blended using polystyrene sticks to give the three dimensional effect to the completed painting. A ( rather poor) quality video of how I created Pimms can be found HERE. Victoria collected Pimms yesterday and gave it to Clive last night as an early birthday present – but also as a Valentine’s gift……These photos are of Pimms, her portrait and Clive….a delighted and delightful family!

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My latest video, the creation of “Cheeky Chappy” in pastel

This is my latest video showing how I create my detailed pastel artwork of a robin. The start is a bit blurred but it improves!

I have often been asked to share how I create my artwork and started a Facebook page called Pastel work in Progress for this purpose. There you will see that I started with individual photos, then collages, and now videos. I am still refining my video techniques so any constructive criticism would be much appreciated!

For those artists of you, the materials for this artwork are Rembrandt soft pastels, with Derwent, Cretacolour and Conte pastel pencils on pastelmat paper.

I worked from a photograph my wife took, giving it depth, vibrancy and a 3D effect. I have used a polystyrene foam stick for blending the more detailed areas and my fingers for larger areas. The sandpaper and blade are used to create a sharp point that allows me to create fine detail that adds the extra dimension to the image. As with most of my artwork, this took 25 to 30 hours to complete.

I hope you find this video of interest. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me! “Cheeky chappy” is currently for sale at Sable and Hogg gallery in Brecon, Wales…….

Selling art online is difficult but catchy tags help enormously

This week I sold ” Dreaming of Fame” through the online art gallery “Artfinder.com” – the third painting I have sold with them in two years. Not a high hit rate but, with hundreds of artists and thousands of pieces of art for buyers to search through, it is no wonder!

What I found interesting was the comment from the buyer “It is a beautiful piece that has significance for us not least because my wife loves ballet and comes from a family of French lace makers!” Luckily there are not a large number of “ballerina” paintings ( 225 in the price bracket) on Artfinder but if I had added “lace” there would have been only 30 ( including mine )

So it has taught me a lesson – that even the simplest tag can improve your chance of being found. This may be commonsense to some but to someone new to online selling it is part of the journey of discovery…..

Artfinder seem to have a formula that works. No other site I have found encourages us to upload photos not just of the artwork but also of the signature, close up views, work in progress ( if available ) and of it in the frame…..

So I will keep adding new work to Artfinder, improve the tags I add to the description and upload quality photographs to improve my page. I keep my fingers crossed that someone else will find their perfect painting in my online gallery!

You can see more pastel artwork that I have sold ( both online and in galleries ) and have had commissioned on my website.…..

What an instant difference a background makes!

This osprey is one of two that I am undertaking in pastel as a commission. I am using my favourite combination of soft pastels ( usually Art Spectrum but sometime Rembrandt if the former does not have the shade I want ) and pastel pencils ( Derwent, Cretacolour or Conte once again depending on the shade I need).

I find it interesting that as soon as I start on the background, in this case a moody sky, the painting starts to take shape. Depth and detail is enhanced and the picture comes to life even though it is far from finished. You can see this from the comparative photos above…..

This is a very time consuming piece, as I enjoy ( well maybe that is too strong a word!) capturing the details – the colours and textures of the feathers, the outstretched claws ready to land on the ( invisible) branch, the eyes fixed on it’s mate nearby ( you’ll see her soon….) A story being told in an instant…..looking forward to sharing this story with you in subsequent posts…..

Source: What an instant difference a background makes!

“Running Hare” painting, exclusive to Sable and Hogg gallery, is sold…..

sable-and-hogg-30-11-2It is always a good feeling to have my pastel artwork appreciated so I was delighted to discover yesterday that my hare painting has sold at the Sable and Hogg gallery in Brecon. Paul at the gallery was also pleased!While at the gallery I showed him the A3 prints I had done on my Canon PRO 100S printer using Hahnemuhle Fine Art paper. He was happy with the quality and will be mounting and selling these, in addition to my original pastel artworks. The osprey commission is progressing well and I will post more photos soon….I hope to complete it before Christmas!

Source: “Running Hare” painting, exclusive to Sable and Hogg gallery, is sold…..

My portrait of a greyhound will be on charity Christmas cards.

Back in March my detailed pastel artwork came to the attention of Alice Fenner of the Retired Greyhound Trust charity through twitter and she contacted me regarding my undertaking a portrait of a retired greyhound. We agreed to a reduced price ( to cover my costs ) and completed the portrait by mid April. You can read more HERE…..

The finished commission is to be used to raise money for the charity through the sale of Christmas cards that have my portrait on them and you can see them HERE They look great and I am buying some for myself. Have a look and support a charity that gives these beautiful dogs a chance of a good life in a loving home!

15% off my pastel artworks on Artfinder for one more week!

I am offering 15% off all my artworks for the next week so why not give your loved one a very special present that will last a lifetime? You can pay in installments if you wish, the painting is already framed and will be delivered by courier, and Artfinder will guarantee your satisfaction, so why not have a look? Your special someone will be over the moon, just like the nearly 200 people who have bought or commissioned one of my many detailed pastel artworks….

Chose something special for someone special at Christmas

I am offering 15% off all my artworks for the next two weeks on Artfinder.com so why not give your loved one a very special present that will last a lifetime? You can pay in installments if you wish, the painting is already framed and will be delivered by courier, and Artfinder will guarantee your satisfaction, so why not have a look? Your special someone will be over the moon, just like the nearly 200 people who have bought or commissioned one of my many detailed pastel artworks….

Delighted to have 12 paintings accepted for sale by a local gallery

I have exhibited at Sable and Hogg in Brecon in the past and have sold three paintings with them. I am pleased to be able to exhibit some of my new work and hope to sell some as Christmas approaches. collage-oct-2016-works-for-sale-2

Brecon is such a lovely town set in the beautiful Brecon Beacons in mid Wales so why not have a day out to enjoy the scenery and my artwork. You will not regret it!