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

Cheetah in Oils part 2

Anyway back to the Cheetah…

So when we left this guy, I had pretty much finished the background.

I left it to thoroughly dry and while I was waiting 2 things happened:

unison-colour-pastels-all1 Some Unison pastels arrived, so I started on a pastel Serval that used to live in somebody’s bathroom, but more of that in a future post.


M-Graham-walnut-oil2 My order of
M Graham walnut oil and solvent free oils turned up.  I’d been looking to try this for a while and I thought the set was good value (from Amazon, but only available in the states).
It’s an oil recommended by Jason Morgan who produces some great wildlife art, so I thought I’de see what its like.

I have started to use it on the cheetah along with my Griffin Alkydd oils and it creates a nice flow for the detail work so far.

Anyway here is the gallery of the progress so far on the next stages of the Cheetah. Enjoy…

I must admit I find oils hard work sometimes, I don’t think I’m quite there with my techniques yet – still lots to learn, but that’s half the fun!

See you next time with a bit more progress.

I’m off to make a dragon now!

Jiily x


Wildlife Heritage Foundation

Its not a day out unless you get up at silly O’Clock is it?

For us, it had to be 5 am! What! I don’t even get up at that time during the week let alone a Saturday. So what tempted me out of my snuggly warm bed…?

What a fab place to spend the day.  the Wildlife Heritage Foundation is in Smarden in Kent, so about 2.5 hours from us.  I had booked a photography day for my husband John, sister-in-law Helen and me.

John is a professional photographer and Helen is a very keen amateur.  I just snap away and sometimes get lucky 🙂

From an artists viewpoint, the WHF is a fab place to top up your reference shots.  You can see from those I’ve posted that there are times when you can get a lens through the enclosure grid…

Brian the Sweet friendly Cheetah
Brian the Sweet friendly Cheetah
Amur Leopard waiting for a morsel of meat
Amur Leopard waiting for a morsel of meat




…and time when you just have to hope its out of focus enough.

It’s not so bad for an artist because we have the ability to ‘see past’ the out of focus grid and turn it into a great piece.

So there we were trying not to be dragged in for a close-up with the Amur Leopards when the cry went up from behind that the most dangerous animal in the park was marching around…

The most dangerous animal in the park
The most dangerous animal in the park

The funniest thing is that this little lady was fearless when it came to her babies.  She had to be ‘escorted’ to the lake behind the clouded leopards, in case one of the inmates decided on duck for lunch!

All in all a fantastic day out and if you’re a wildlife artist – its heaven.