Category Archives: Techniques

Book now for new workshop dates!

New dates for June workshops

New dates for pastel workshops in June 2017  have been added.

1 day Scottish Wildcat in pastel –
Monday 19th June

Scottish Wildcat pastel workshops
Scottish wildcat 1 day workshop in pastel

This is a great little piece to get started on if you are new to velour and everything is provided to take you step by step through working on velour.

2 day Chinese Leopard in pastel –
Saturday 3rd June & Sunday 4th June

Chinese Leopard pastel workshops
Chinese Leopard 2 day pastel workshop

This is a beautiful image and is full of colour and texture.  In this 2 day workshop you can really get your teeth into fur and textures on velour in pastel.

 

Click the images to see the full course outlines.

Workshops coming soon! Adventures in Abstract

If detail is not your thing or if you just want to loosen up or learn more about the principles & elements of design then this new workshop could be for you.

I’m currently creating some great activities and exercises and hope to be able to launch the pilot workshop in late June / early July.

Abstract work is often misunderstood so many artists tend to steer clear, but its a fantastic way to play with colour, new techniques and mediums as well as exploring  the principles and elements of design.  Even if, like me, you love to produce detailed pieces, you might be surprised how an abstract workshop can improve your practise.

The workshops will be over 2 days and a range of mediums will be provided along with a blank canvas for your finished piece.

I will be running a pilot workshop at the reduced fee of £150 per person (for the 2 days) so email me if you’d like to be added to the list for that course.

Well that’s all for now

Hope to see some of you on the new Abstract workshop or one of the pastel sessions.

Jilly

Chooks, New Studio and new workshops

It’s got to that stage where I’m bursting out of my spare room studio and my workshops need a more permanent home! So that can mean only one thing – the chooks have to go!

We’ve had chooks for about 5 years now, but my art workshops are becoming so popular that I need a more permanent space.  Our garden room is a great space to work in, but it will be fab to be able to leave all of the art gear in place in a brand new purpose-built studio.

Coral chicken
Coral

I’m excited about the new studio, but will be sad to see our chickens go, especially since they have just started laying again.  Still they are off to a good home and will be well looked after.

 


New workshop dates for June

New pastel workshop dates have been added for June.

Scottish Wildcat pastel workshops
Scottish Wildcat pastel workshop

1 day Scottish Wildcat in pastel –
Monday 19th June

This is a great little piece to get started on if you are new to velour and everything is provided to take you step by step through working on velour.

Chinese Leopard pastel workshops
Chinese Leopard 2 day pastel workshop

2 day Chinese Leopard in pastel –
Saturday 3rd June & Sunday 4th June

This is a beautiful image and is full of colour and texture.  In this 2 day workshop you can really get your teeth into fur and textures on velour in pastel.

Click the images to see the full course outlines.

Coming soon! Adventures in Abstract

If detail is not your thing or if you just want to loosen up or learn more about the principles & elements of design then this new workshop could be for you.

I’m currently creating some great activities and exercises and hope to be able to launch the pilot workshop in late June / early July.

Abstract work is often misunderstood so many artists tend to steer clear, but its a fantastic way to play with colour, new techniques and mediums as well as exploring  the principles and elements of design.  Even if, like me, you love to produce detailed pieces, you might be surprised how an abstract workshop can improve your practise.

The workshops will be over 2 days and a range of mediums will be provided along with a blank canvas for your finished piece.

I will be running a pilot workshop at the reduced fee of £150 per person (for the 2 days) so email me if you’d like to be added to the list for that course.

Well that’s all for now

Hope to see some of you on the new Abstract workshop or one of the pastel sessions.

Jilly

New Magazine, new course, new things to learn

New Magazine available now!

paintdraw_cover_flat_sm

Last week Paint & Draw made the step from online to a printed paper version and it featured one of my step by steps of a Chinese Leopard in pastel.

PAD01.wrk_pastels.indd

This fab new magazine has tips, techniques and articles to inspire and suit everyone no matter what your experience, so its a great read.

There is also a special introductory offer of 4 issues for £5

Click this link to find out for information about the offer

 

New Courses for 2017

New workshop dates have been added to the courses section of my website.

A 2 day pastel workshop is now available and the first of these is scheduled for Feb 2017.  If you would like to plan for a date that is not yet scheduled, give me a  call – I am always happy to accomodate where I can.

Like most artists I love to learn new skills, especially where art is concerned and recently I have been learning all about Nails and Nail art.  Only the assessments to go and I will be a fully qualified Nail Technician too lol – I know – the things I get myself into.

But there is method in my madness.  Nail art is a bit part of a Nail Technicians job and I find that many of the tricks and techniques I use as an artist – especially airbrush – can transfer to nail art.

nails

The only thing that changes is the canvas size.  I am currently working on a series of Nail art workshops using freehand and airbrushed techniques as well as embedding elements within the gel and acrylic of the nails as they are created.  Look out for the launch dates in early 2017.

See you soon

Jilly

New workshop dates: Pet Portraits in pastel

New Pet Portrait Pastel workshops scheduled!

Beautiful British Blue
Beautiful British Blue

I am now taking bookings for my next Pet Portraits in Pastel 1 day workshop:

  • Saturday 13th June 2015
    9:30 – 4:30
  • Light Lunch included
  • All materials and equipment provided
  • A fab art-packed day
  • Fab price! £95 per person

If you can’t make this date, then check out my other Art Workshop dates

Book early to avoid disappointment

Visit my website to make payment online or contact me directly to learn more

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Here be dragons!

Well they might take  bit of time, ‘cos they’re just drying at the moment!

I have been wanting to do this for ages, ever since I saw this:

Dan Reeder is an absolute master of papier mache and cloth sculpture and rivals even Daenerys Targaryen for some striking dragons and mystical creatures.

So I have started on my little dragon project and all his ‘bits’ have been made and are on my studio windowsill drying out.  This is a perfect project to do while you’re waiting for an oil painting to dry.

The parts don’t look like much at the moment, so I can’t wait until I can start to assemble them:

Lordy! This was a messy job, but great fun and something you could do with the kids.  Took me back too to creating papier mache puppets at school.  Remember that Flour and water glue? Well these days you need latex gloves or you’ll be washing your hands for weeks.

Well that’s it so far.  Have to wait for these bits to dry before I can do any more, but I might just go look at the eyes that I bought :)

See you next time

Jilly x

New Big Cats 1 day Pastel workshop Saturday 30th May 2015

Breaking news!

A beautiful pastel piece using one of my husband's (John) reference images
A beautiful pastel piece using one of my husband’s (John) reference images

I am now taking bookings for my next Big Cat 1 day workshop:

  • Saturday 30th May 2015
    9:30 – 4:30
  • Light Lunch included
  • All materials and equipment provided
  • A fab art-packed day

If you can’t make this date, then check out my other Art Workshop dates

Book early to avoid disappointment

Visit my website to make payment online

WordPress contact form by 123ContactForm

Purrfect pet photography

To create a good pastel portrait, I need some good reference material.

I always draw from photographs for portrait work. Imagine trying to get your pet to sit still for 5 minutes let alone the time it takes for a portrait! Unless we’re talking cats, of course, and you’d like a portrait of them sleeping…

If you are unsure whether the images that you have of your pet will be suitable, simply give me a call. Normally I will ask people to post or email the shots and can then let you know if I can use them.

Here are some photography tips that might help:

Not big enough in the frame

Not big enough in the frame

Much better for a full body shot
Much better for a full body shot

Getting the right distance
Get in as close as you can without chopping off important parts of your subject

You’ll want to balance your subject so he fills the frame well.  Too small and the shot will be all background

The second of these photos fills the frame well and makes for a great full body shot of the animal.  Make sure that you don’t capture too much background so that your subject becomes a tiny dot in one corner.

Too Close
Too Close
Much better head shot
Much better head shot

 

 

 

Close, but not too close

The first of these head shots could be nice if it were in focus and the photographer had pulled back slightly.

The second is a much better image.  Its nicely lit, in focus and show enough detail in the coat and the eyes to make a great portrait.

Blur, blur, blur
Blur, blur, blur

henry_goodmed

 

 

 

 

Focus

Getting the Focus spot on is key.  If the image is blurry, then the artist has to second guess the detail and the result won’t show any character of your pet.

 

Amber_good
Now we are at Amber’s level

 

Not so interesting shot from above
Not so interesting shot from above
This is where your camera may have problems getting the right exposure, often a pop of flash is enough to fill the shadow areas. Stops that black cat in coal bunker look.
This is where your camera may have problems getting the right exposure, often a pop of flash is enough to fill the shadow areas. Stops that black cat in coal bunker look.
Now that the light source is in front we can see much more detail
Now that the light source is in front we can see much more detail

 

Get down to it

Compare the two images of Amber on the sofa. The first one looks much more interesting because we are down at her level in her world.  the second one however is just a cat asleep on the sofa

When you capture the sharp detail its easier to see expressions and capture nuances that make your pet special.

 

 

 

Lighting

Lastly, make sure that you have the light source in front of the subject . With the light behind, the image again lacks detail.  This is a particularly key point when you’re photographing black or white animals or animals where the coat is predominantly one colour.

Look at the difference in the black cat images here.

OK well I hope that’s been useful.  Happy snapping!

Marissa Oosterlee wildlife art airbrush workshop

OK, so as I promised here’s how I got on at the Wildlife workshop delivered by Marissa Oosterlee and hosted by Pete Millichamp at Airbrush and Paint in Great Yarmouth.

I had booked this workshop last year, Nov 2013 and had to wait until May 19th 2014. How excited was I when we finally arrived in May :)

Although I was getting to grips with my airbrush, I had lots of questions and lots of areas where I was convince my technique could be better.

As a qualified trainer, I know the value of workshops like these.  Sometime even just the one little tip can make it all worthwhile and in this workshop I picked up so much..

Enough waffle – here’s the step by step…

Hope you enjoyed the step by step.  The image is not quite completed, I will eventually get around to adding the very last details with watercolour pencils and maybe darken a couple of areas in the background.

I need to finish the trike paniers that I’m working on first, so hopefully you will see those finished in the next update.

J x

Learning a new medium

So I was hooked on airbrushing after being given the chance to create some artwork on my next door neighbour’s trike.

The question was “was I doing it right?”

So off to see what I could find on the internet about airbrushing technique.

Airbrushtutor.comMy first port of call was Airbrushtutor.com.  Mitch is as nutty as a fruit cake, but in the nicest possible way :)  He has some great downloadable files on the site to help beginners practice getting used to the control of an airbrush.

I quickly realised that my starter kit had done its job and I ought to move up to the next level of quality, so…

Infinity CR+

I moved up to a H & S Infinity CR+.  The difference was amazing, everything worked for a start and my artwork immediately improved.

Meanwhile back at the trike, Barry (neighbour) asked me to do the artwork on the real fuel tank at the back of the trike.

For all of the work including this next part I have been using Createx water based auto paint.

Take a look at the next gallery to see how the real fuel tank turned out.

Hope you enjoyed that.

See you soon with the output from My Marissa Oosterlee workshop.

J x

 

Updates, updates

It’s a full time job this, updating software, updating the way this blog looks on a mobile device, updating what I’m up to….
…and I’m not exactly the best at doing my updates on this blog :(
I’d rather be painting…..

So for years my first love has been pastels and graphite, but now I’ve found a new love – my airbrush!

I have used a cheapy old airbrush for airbrushing sugar flowers (of all things), but always fancied learning to use one for fine art.

sugar flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funny how opportunities arise

It is strange how these things happen, but I’ve always wanted to do some custom work on a bike or car, but never had the bike or the car to do it on.  One day just before Christmas I was taking some artwork an exhibition and my neighbour started chatting about his custom trike that he was building.  (Not that it matters, but Barry, my neighbour, is 81 and still tinkering around with and riding his trike!)

The upshot of the conversation was that Barry wanted a North American Indian themed bike and I could design and paint the artwork for the faux fuel tank!

 

Both of us were very happy with this first adventure into custom bike artwork.  Barry was so please that he asked me to paint the real fuel tank that sits on the back of the trike.  In the meantime I had booked my Marissa Oosterlee airbrush course to learn how to use my airbrush properly…!

I’ll tell you how it went in the next post.