Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Blue Hound

I've been brute forcing a commissioned portrait so thought I'd take a break and do something a bit more fun....and here he is, the blue hound. 
He was inspired by a dog I saw in the movie Gladiator. At the beginning when the Romans are fighting the Germans the Roman General Maximus has a large, Alsation type hound that tags along with him. He only appears for a few seconds but he's a nice looking dog, this is based on him.
soft pastels on 30 X 40cm cartridge paper.

Started with hard pastels:

...then soft pastels:


This took a couple of hours. Must do more using this loose style, it's great fun.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Monty the cat

My first ever cat portrait! This was my wifes birthday present back in February (the painting that is, not the cat). He's six years old and he's a git (but we love him). Charcoal & pastels on 30 X 40cm yellow pastelmat.

ref photo:

Charcoal sketch:

Some colour added:

Nearly done:


This was one of these paintings that just rolled out quite nicely, got it done in one afternoon, happy days!.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


This is a commission I had a few months ago, to start with I thought it was just another dog portrait but it turned out that the customer wanted other specific elements, foreground is a headshot of the Huntaway Bruce, fair enough but that had to be applied to a background of a location and a flock of sheep AND a shepherd (the owner of Bruce). This was something new as I'd never tried to combine elements like this before, in the end I had to omit the shepherd, it was just too much going on and I couldn't make it work. Here are the reference pics I had to work with:



Background (& shepherd on his quad bike)

Clearly this wasn't going to be just a portrait, it was a combination of portrait and landscape...and I don't much like doing landscapes, way too tricky. Anyway I messed around with a few compositions and in the end  the most obvious worked the best:

Composition sketch:

On the strength of this rather crude drawing I got the go ahead. I opted for charcoal and soft pastels (surprise surprise) on 30 X 40 cartridge paper.

Charcoal sketch, Bruce's head:

Completed sketch:

Some colour thrown in:


I found this to be quite a challenge and was quite pleased with the result. The client was delighted with it when she got it and then threw another idea at me, something much, much tougher altogether, watch this space.....

Haven't been here for a while

Cor! Five months since I last posted, where does the time go?

Well for the last seven weeks I've had my arm in a sling after I managed to dislocate my shoulder (it had to be my right arm of course...doh!), happily it's healing well now and I've been (carefully) doing some drawing again. Here's a few pieces I'd got done before my injury:

First of all some commissions, there's a couple more but I'm going to post them individually:

Joey the lab, charcoal & pastels on 30 X 40 cartridge paper.

A set of two individual pastel portraits of a friends children, also one coloured pencil portrait of both together:

......and a couple I did as Christmas presents:

Tealeaf the lurcher, charcoal.

Ruby, my youngest niece, charcoal