Fisher paper!

Why haven’t I used it before????
So everyone was raving about Fisher paper in the Pet Portraits forum and I figured that I needed to try it.

As you do, I had great fun buying some stock and then carefully put it away, because I had commissions, study assignments, art college assignments not to mention other work stuff…..you know what it’s like.

My reward for finishing my penultimate OU assignment was that I would have some time to ‘play’ with the Fisher.

A couple of posts back you might recall this delightful shot:

This weekend I had 2 days of bliss at the Coontica show in Rickmamsworth and started on the piece – on Fisher…
So the verdict:
Well,  Fisher paper, for those of you who haven’t tried it, is simply 800 grit sandpaper (it says so on the back)
I had tried Pastelmat and really didn’t like it, so becuase Fisher seemed similar I guess I was a little reticent. I’m used to working on velour and I love the finish.
I got set up and sketched the outline.  Then I started on the pastel – blimey you only need to touch the paper and half the pencil is worn away on to it.
I can completely understand why anyone who comes from Fisher paper finds velour difficult or a chore. Compared to Fisher, it is quite hard work getting the colour onto the velour – at times you really have to scrub.
What surprised me the most is the speed which which the piece started to develop.

Although I wasn’t sure for the first hour, I very quickly got used to the change in technique and now I’m a complete convert. I love the ease with which you can render detail on this paper.
As ever I started with the eyes and then the rest of the facial features.  At first I wasn’t sure about the ‘painterly’ look that I was getting, but I soon got used to it and now I’d even say I prefer it!
When I ordered the Fisher I also bought the blenders. Basically they are cut up pieces of cork matting! Have to say after the first couple of rubs I have binned them. I found that they left brown marks on the paper and are completely the wrong shape to blend fine detail, so I stuck to my blending stubs which worked perfectly.And this is where this post ends – an almost finished tiny Siamese kitty….

The cat show where I started this piece was at the Royal Masonic School for girls – a very swanky boarding school in Rickmansworth.  Such a lovely building, but thearea that I was placed in didn’t have such good lighting, so the pictures are a little yellow cast (even though I had set up my camera for flourescent light!)  After I had blended the head colour a little, I moved on to the body.  They are such cute tiny chaps, you can almost feel the little bones under that thin fur ;0)

You can see a bit of the difference here between blended and un-blended:

Next post 2 more kitties completed

Molly & Jasper finished – again….

I know this might seem a little bizarre, but I wasn’t sure about the background on this pieces even whn I declared it finished.

Then I posted on Wet Canvas and a few of the guys suggested that the background could be darker.
so I fiddled and here’s the result.

the image is not as good as it could be as the piece is now in a frame, so it was difficult to not capture the reflections as it’s very sunny this morning.  Anyway I like the results – it’s a bit different…

Molly & Jasper finished

Just thought I’d post a quick update while I eat my soup this lunchtime!

Molly & Jasper are finally finished, although I will probably keep looking at it and tweaking here and there as is my way…..and, I suspect, the way of most artists.

Now I can go and find that fisher paper and wake up those Siamese babies…

SOFA, so good!

Well someone had to say it…
I had a fab day today.  I took four pieces of work down to the Society of Feline Artists submission day for their annual exhibition.

I was very nervous as this is my first time exhibiting at this venue and it’s the one to be at really as it’s in London at the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery in Waterloo.  One of my images has been used for the catalogue and all four submissions were accepted into the exhibition, so I’m excited to see the outcome.

Fellow artist Sue Clinker, who’s blog Pencilpix you can visit from my blogroll, has also submitted work, so I have had my fingers crossed for her all day too.
I’m told that all the work will shortly be on the gallery website so watch out for the pair of us!

The Society of Feline Artists run this exhibition every year and it is eagerly awaited and attended by cat lovers from around the world.

You can read more about SOFA here.

A bit more laurel….

Well strangely I’m loving this…
I think it’s the discipline of rendering life-like foliage.  I’m giving as much attention to the laurel as I am to the main subjects – which is no bad thing.  Time was when I would have dashed off a background and then not been happy with it – maybe I’m finally mellowing in my ‘middle age’.

Anyway here’s the latest shot of it with a little more laurel:

Now I’m thinking of a new direction for my work.  I won’t say much right now, but I’m off to do lots of reseach on the Crown Jewels…!
John say’s I should call this one “Keep quiet and act like a bush!”

Where is the year going….?

August already!  Soon the Easter eggs will be in the shops ;0)

Well I’ve had another crazy month with lots going on.  I got a ‘debosser’ last week! It stamps an impression into the mount board with my name in a roundel and the works ‘original artwork’.  I’m really pleased with it because you can use it on gold foil wafers too.  These are great to use as authentication on limited editions.  I decided that I will start creating some OSWoA (Original Small Works of Art) pieces.  So I’ll use this method to authenticate them.  You’ll have to watch this space for that though.

So I went up to my studio all set to start on the Siamese….and then I saw Jasper and Molly!

If you follow the Pet Portrait Artist forum, you’ll have seen the WIP that I started on there ages ago…Now I don’t know about you, but there are times when I just have to finish something before I move on.

Sometimes I even have to do the washing up before I paint! (I know that’s a bit extreme and I should seek therapy)

Anyway, since this is a college piece too I thought I’d better finish it, so those lovely Siamese are still in the pile waiting for me to get a move on.

BUT, here’s an update on Molly and Jasper…
The brief is to create a piece that has two subjects from different reference material.  I decided to add in the foliage to link the two together.

We have lots of lovely foliage in the garden, so armed with my camera I went in search of soemthing interesting.  I photographed variagated Laurel and Photinia and settled on the laurel because I liked the berries.

It’s oddly satisfying creating the laurel because as you put in the outline it looks really flat.  then as you start to add the darks and the shadows it really comes to life.

So, this has become my latest obsession and the Siamese will have to curl up and sleep until another day.