As I prepare for our open house art exhibition as part of Herefordshire art week September 8th to 16th I am always looking for subject matter to create appealing, and saleable, artworks.
During H-art in 2017 I sold a duckling “Wait For Me” and when this image of a duckling and it’s reflection crossed my radar I knew it fit the equally “appealing” category.
My technique as always is to create an outline to work from then select the range of colours of pastel pencils I need. I flipped this image to give variety and then printed off a photograph of the subject ( in this case the duckling ) and study the lights and shades of the feathers, eyes, water, reflections and so on. This allows me to chose the correct colours to work with.
I then work basically from left to right to avoid smudging. Where I make the first stroke of the pencil will depend on the subject matter. You can see some photos here of me at work and more of my working methods on my Facebook page
I have also posted a video of my working techniques on YouTube…..you may find it only works properly on phone and tablet for some reason……
Each time I start I don’t know how it will work out but as the colours and layers build I feel more confident in the outcome. It is slow and patient work but I enjoy the creativity and the outcome is usually worth the effort. Come and see it in September!
Very pleased with the outcome of my latest commission, this lovely border collie called Daisy. I can only show you part of her as she is waiting to be given to her owner as a birthday present.
By paying attention to detail I have created a unique portrait to last a lifetime. I used mostly Faber Castell pastel pencils for the blacks and greys but also have various other shades in Derwent, Conte and Cretacolour. I have left the background as the colour of my favourite Artspectrum Colourfix paper in grey. Don’t forget the short video of me adding detail to the eyes which is on instagram…..
I am starting my next commission now but don’t forget that I can do something special for you too! Look forward to hearing from you and enjoy your day!
It is always nice to see an artist at work and a video is a great way to do this. My wife has taken many short videos of me creating my artwork over the years and I have had good feedback from them…..this is my YouTube page where you can see me paying attention to detail…..
I have finally completed this 50cm by 70cm commission, in pastel, ready in time for Christmas. Simon and Sue travelled to Macchu Picchu and wanted to have it in the background of their portrait. After a bit of photo manipulation and discussion we were able to get a composition in the reference photo that they were happy with – it took me about 50 hours to complete with all the detail but they are very happy with the result. As usual it was undertaken using Art Spectrum soft pastels and Derwent/Conte/Cretacolour pastel pencils on Art Spectrum Colourfix paper.
You too can have your own commission, made to your unique specifications. My attention to detail will give you a result that you will be delighted with – see more on my website. Merry Christmas!
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?
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!
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 artworkare 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…….
I have had a enjoyable week, meeting lots of friendly people who have appreciated my artwork and Cath’s garden ( open tomorrow afternoon for the NGS) I have had 36 pieces of artwork on display, as well as a Work In Progress video for people to see how I create my detailed pastel artworks. I have also greetings cards for sale of my work and a few examples of previous commissions. So I like to think we have offered a unique insight into my artwork and lifestyle and hope to welcome more people over the next two days – I hope that you may be one of them!
Following suggestions by a friend, I have created a you tube channel to post videos of my pastel artwork in progress….my first one will be the whitetail deer and it shows how slowly I work to create each piece – 25 to 30 hours per artwork. The next will hopefully be of a woodland scene, my current piece, with stills combined to make a 2 minute video. Wish me ( and my wife Cathy) luck! Will update you soon…..