Tag Archives: cats

Competition Artwork

Every year I set out to be ready with artwork for the plethora of competitions that seem to all kick off at the beginning of the year. In reality only the advertising kicks off, but its enough to send me scurrying to my easel with a head full of ideas.
….and you guessed it every year I am painting like a maniac to make sure I have new work to show.
So here’s one I’ve just finished…

Tiger in pastel
A beautiful imposing beast of a tiger

I love Tigers, well I love all cats really, but Tigers are so colourful and look so regal.  This is from one of my own reference shots and not only is it a competition piece, but its the subject matter for my latest pastel workshop.

If you like the look of this chap and fancy learning how to re-create his likeness in pastel on velour, there are still workshop spaces available – but only 3 for 4th April.

For other dates click here to check the workshops page on the main website.

Pastels not your thing?….try airbrushing

There are not many courses available in the UK where Wildlife art is taught, so I decided to create my own. It’s not as complex as you might think – like anything, just takes a little practise to get to grips with a new tool.

If you fancy a taster session watch this space, the course outline will be available in the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime email me if you are interested.

Next competition piece is under way

So to give you a flavour of what you can do with an airbrush, here’s the start of the next competition piece.  This is sadly not my reference, but was downloaded from the Wildlife Reference  Photos for Artists site – a fab ref library for any artist.

It’s a beautiful shot from the very talented photographer Emanuel Keller.

Anyway progress so far looks like this:

The piece is approx17.5″ x 11″, acrylic on canvas.

I tape the canvas to the drawing board and transfer my sketch using  red graphite paper which is less prone to smudging.

Next I mask the Snow leopard using frisket mask so that I can concentrate on the background without worrying about keeping the main subject clean.

I gradually build up layers of texture and colour to create the rock face.  At this point I’m about ready to leave the rock face and start on the Snow Leopard.

Join me next time for more progress.

Take care



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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First post of 2012

Well a belated Happy New Year to you all.

Don’t know about you, but Christmas seems like months ago…was all good though.

I had a busy time of it leading up to Christmas.

John had his 50th birthday so naturally, since your man’s only 50 once,  we had to celebrate in style.


I booked a weekend at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir in Oxford and I have to say it was incredible.  The service is second to none and that’s before you’ve even tasted the food.



Gerald Hockey contacted me a couple of weeks before Christmas to ask if I could do a rush job for his wife Barbara for Christmas.  Barbara is a very good customer, so I was delighted to oblige.

Take a look at this gallery to see the step by step for this piece.

Finally I’ve completed all the pieces for Part 2 of the drawing module for my Crative Arts degree.  You can check out the results here in the Creative Arts pages.

Right, better go and update the Creative Arts pages then :0)

Take care until next time




Distinctions, creative arts and Bengal cats

An unlikely mixture, but I’ll explain…

I have just completed my Pet Portraiture Diploma with the London Art College and passed with a Distinction!


So ever the student, I enrolled on my next adventure – a Creative Arts (Hons) degree with the Open College of Art.Open College of the Arts

As part of the course students are required to keep a learning journal, so I have added new pages to this blog to act as that journal.  You can follow my progress and see the outcome of my adventures on the Creative Arts Journey pages.

Part 1 is all about mark-making and has been great fun to explore.  Since it was so in-depth there are several pages for you to browse.

Hope you find it as interest as I did and who  knows you might be inspired to give it a go yourself.


Other News…

I have been so busy with study, work and holidays that it’s been a while since I did a cat show, but that will all change next weekend (8/10/2011).

You can see me at:

The Bengal Cat Club show, North Solihull Sports Centre
Conway Road Chelmsley Wood Solihull
West Midlands, B37 5LA

Sat 8th and Sun 9th October 2011

This is a TICA all breed show, so there will be something for everyone.

Back online at last…

Well it feels like I’ve been offline for ages, but in fact it’s only 3 weeks.  Amazing how you feel out of touch and to think that not so long ago we got on quite nicely without blogs and email and Facebook!

Anyway I’m back and here’s an update on my latest piece.

Panthro and Tigra

These two belong to Helena Rushbridge, or is it the other way around – I never know with cats.  We certainly don’t own Amber, we’re just casual staff!

Anyway back to the plot:

Here is the gallery showing the development of the Panthro and Tigra piece from initial images through layout options to the finished piece.

We ran through a number of options before settling on one where they were sitting close, but not too close :0)

There’s a great shot half way through where Tigra’s half rendered stripes look like PJs, and I love the light falling on Panthro’s black fur.

Hope you like it….


Too much Christmas pud!

OK well that’s the title of the Christmas card piece unless you know any better 🙂

Just a short update today, because the piece is finished and here it is!

I’m really please with the end results and delighted to have had the opportunity to create the piece.

Haworth Cat rescue Christmas card 2011

Starting over again…

Well not quite….

Apologies if you’ve been following my blog and have wondered where it disappeared to over the last few days.  The answer is “I have no idea”!!!

It’s extremely annoying, but I lost the entire thing and couldn’t log in.

Anyway after some technical jiggery pokery I’m back.

The last couple of blogs have been following my latest commission – William, a cheeky little bengal kitten with a big personality.

To remind you of where I’m at with this take a look at the gallery here.  Click on any image to enlarge and then hover over the left or right-hand side to move forwards or backwards:

Hope you enjoy the recap.  I will update the gallery software when I have more time.

There will be more to come on William later this week.

Watch out for the post about my recent Vic Bearcroft tuition experience.

See you soon



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.

Tinkering and tidying up…

Well I’m lost without my little Bengal pals, they were such a part of my life for a few weeks now they’ve gone home! ;0)

I’m pleased to say that Tracey and Steve were delighted with their comission, so another happy customer…yeay!

So now what? Well there’s lots to do.
This week I’m expecting reference images from several commissions that are on order so that they can be added to my schedule.

I need to create new work for my portfolio as four of my pieces will be going to the SOFA exhibition in Aug/Sept, so I’m excited about the exhibition and about creating new work!

I’ve just had a good tidy up in my studio – which always makes John (hubby) laugh.  I usually start by saying I’m off to tidy my studio and an hour later he comes up with a cup of tea to find me in the middle of the floor, surrounded by the ‘stuff’ I’m tidying having become distracted by a reference book or article in an art mag…Oh well I’m so predictable ;0)

Anyway, I did tidy up and I’m now ready to start on the little Siamese kittens.
Pat Sharp is a breeder of Siamese cats, you can check out her website here
She very kindly sent me this delightful shot which has now reached the top of my ‘to do’ list:

I love the way they all look like they are about to fall over, but I couldn’t resist the one pushing the other out of his/her shot.
Not sure on the caption yet, but I’m liking “Move! You blockin’ my close-up”, at the moment – unless of course you can come up with anything better!  Now there’s a challenge.
The other thing is that this will probably be submitted as part of my college work too, so I have an opportunity to try out some of the new papers that I ordered a few weeks back.  Possibly the fisher- definately pastels…
Right I’m off to find my fisher paper…
Speaky later