Tag Archives: Mandarins

It’s all go again!

This year seems to be passing by in a sort of mini whirlwind!
….and it’s nearly Christmas!

Well this last month has been one of tying up loose ends.
First of all John and I sat our final ever OU exam on 15th October and then spent the weekend away celebrating the end of 6 years of study!

Actually we went to Hunstanton and spent much of the time catching crabs off Cromer pier – what a laugh, it’s you’ve never been crabbing I can highly recommend it.

So then I got the taste for finishing things…..

First you might recall the Mandarin ducks that I started at the beginning ofthe Summer – well here’s the finished piece.

This is one of the 3 pieces that I intend to submit for my art college penultimate exercise set.  I have only one more to go so I figured I’d better get that last piece on the move too.
It’s a piece that expresses the personality of my little cat muse Amber, so this is the rough sketch:
Anyone who has been fortunate enough to become a member of staff to a British Blue will know that the old saying of cats is so fitting in this case:
“In ancient civilisations, cat’s were once worshipped as Gods,
this is something they have never forgotten!”
Certainly true in Amber’s case.  This will be a piece in oils, so watch this space…
Lastly, I was able to use some time at a cat show to finally finished a cute little portfolio piece that I started in August – ‘We are Siamese…’
Phew – told you it’s been busy…
Next time:
News on two exciting commissions – 3 Welsh Maine Coons and a bautiful little Bengal kitten

Geoffs artist’s reference images – Mandarins in oil

I was recently fortunate enough to work with a great photographer friend of mine on his reference image CD’s for artists.
Geoff Stone and his wife Ros are local photographers and good friends of mine.  If you are looking for some fantastic reference images for your artwork click here to vist Geoffs site. Choose “Artists CDs” from the main menu to see the CDs on offer.

Currently you can choose from:
Volume 1 – Birds
This CD contains 102 images illustrating 75 different species of birds from Europe and Africa. The images are sized to print at A4 but can be re-sized and printed larger or smaller.
Volume 2 – Animals
This CD contains 100 images illustrating 22 different species of animals. The images are sized to print at A4 but can be re-sized and printed larger or smaller.
Being a photographer who specialises in wildlife, Geoff produces images that are top notch, very detailed, sharp and well worth the £20 +£2 p&p.
I chose a particularly eye-catching image of a male Mandarin duck and then I saw the image of the female. After a few preliminary sketches I had created a composition that I liked with the two of them:
This is my first piece using Winsor and Newton water mixable oils and I have to say I am a total convert.  No stinky turps and the oil behaves just like any other oil.  I prefer to use the various mediums created for this range of paints to thin and to create glazes, although I do use water with it , but sparingly.
I’ve used artistic licence to brighten the water a little, but I particularly love the luminous quality that you can achieve using glazes in oils and I think that is somthing that you can see in this piece. 
It’s nearly there, I keep going back to it between commissions so another couple of weeks and it should be complete.
The only problem with these CDs is that my head is now full of new wildlife compositions based on all the wonderful shots available, so be warned you’ll turn into a paintaholic once you get them!