Tag Archives: Siamese

Another busy month gone…!

Crikey is it really a sign of getting old or are the months passing so quickly because as ever I have so much to do?

What an update I have….
SOFA (Society of Feline artists)
First things first – the SOFA exhibition –  was great!
I sold one of my pieces there – Molly, a silly upside down piece of my sister-in-laws cat acting barmy – as she does.  so I was extremely pleased with that considering it was my first outing at a major London exhibition.  I’m already planning what I will take next year and I’m hoping to put some work before the selection panel for full membership……scary!
Open University study
I have FINISHED my last assignment!! Yeay.  That’s a culmination of 6 years hard study – just a 3 hour exam on 15th October and that is my degree course finished.  I have to say although it’s been a hard slog it has very much been worth it.  So that’s the work stuff over with now I’m going to start the fine art degree that I’ve always wanted to do!!


Told you it’s been busy…lol.
If you read my last post you’ll know I was working on the little Siamese kittens; well I managed a little bit more before the commissions that I booked at the last couple of shows started to go a bit nuts.  This shows a bit more detail on the first little fella, while in the one below you can see that I’ve started on the others:
They are very cute and working on the fisher paper is great as you get quite a painterly finish.  Very nice to work on….

Then my email went nuts…

Connie, Jake and Jilly
I know – a namesake!
Caroline contacted me with a rush job.  She had decided that a memorial portrait would fit the bill for a gift, so she sent through the only shots that she had of her chosen subjects:
Jilly, Connie and Jake
This is Jilly (Sadly no longer with us)
Below the Brown Springer at the front is Connie (passed) and the one at the back is Jake
I made a couple of mock ups in photoshop and Caroline settled on this one:
After a little bit of jiggery pokery I managed to lighten the darker areas to try and see some of the detail to add to the piece.  Unfortunately it’s not easy to see enough detail when the photos are contrasty so Photoshop can be a real help in getting the reference data that you need.
Here I’ve started on the outline.  I’m working on Fisher paper usig derwent pastels. Although I find it easer to do the outline in sketching pencils – white, black and tan.
Once I have the basic shapes I can move on to blocking in some colour. I start with the Black & White Spaniel – Jilly. Having laid down the base colour I can then add a little detail with the light grey.
This next image was taken with better lighting conditions, so you gt a better feel for the colour. I have started to add base colour to Connie now.  As I work on each dog I add more detail into the background.  You can see that the basic grass tones are starting to build up now.
In this next image you can see that the detail in the grass is beginning to build and form a very solid foundation. I love the light and dark areas and the looks on the dogs faces they are realy alert in these images.  Here I’ve started work on Jake who has a slightly lighter coat which is catching the light very nicely.
Just a little more work to be done on the grass and a bit more detail in the dogs’ fur and we’ll be done.
Next time…
The Bengal 6 have been framed!
Another commission WIP – Sophie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
And possily more Siamese kitties

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

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