Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Daler Murano paper

I'm continuing to compare pastel papers. For this portrait I've used Daler Murano paper and the dog is from a photo I found on the internet and his name is apparently 'Buddy'. At first, compared to the Fisher 400 paper, I found this paper a bit flimsy and insubstantial, and nearly gave up. But I persevered, and found that I actually really like it. I used a mixture of hard and soft pastels and pastel pencils. I recently bought about 40 new colours - mostly greys and browns, from the Derwent range of pastel pencils, and they certainly came in very handy for this portrait.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Practice work

I got this pic of a beautiful dog off the internet. I did it with pastels on Fisher 400 paper. I'm just practicing at the moment with pastels and different papers. I like Fisher 400 - it's very forgiving and seems to allow an unlimited number of layers to be added. I'm not sure if this is a good thing - I think one should still try to complete the work in a small number of layers as otherwise the colours can get a bit muddy. I'm not sure if this pastel work is detailed enough. I've seen other work on the internet where every hair seems to have been drawn and the fur doesnt look coarse like it does here. It' a mystery I've yet to solve!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Sunday, 22 November 2009


A quick sketch of Chester.

Friday, 20 November 2009

I've got an award!

I've got an award from Captain Elaine - thank you Captain Elaine! It's very kind of you. I tried to copy and paste it into this post but it didn't work! Never mind, I'll still answer all these questions in one word and then give 5 links to people I like...

1. Where is your cell phone?... Dunno
2. Your hair? ...Long
3. Your mother?... gone
4. Your father? ...also
5. Your favourite food? ...cake
6. Your dream last night?
7. Your favourite drink?
8. Your dream/goal? ...artist
9. What room are you in?
10. Your hobby? ...drawing
11. Your fear? ...moths
12 Where do you want to be in 6 years?
13. Where were you last night?
14. Something that you aren't? ...tough
15. Muffins?...yes
16. Wish list item?...books
17. Where did you grow up? ...London
18. Last thing you did?
19. What are you wearing? ...jeans
20. Your TV? ... old
21. Your pets? ...three
22. Friends ...odd
23. Your life? ...lovely
24. Your mood? ...happy
25. Missing someone? ...many
26. Vehicle? ...Ford
27. Something you're not wearing?
28. Your favourite store? ...artshop
29. Your favourite colour? bluegreen
30. When was the last time you laughed?...lunchtime
31. Last time you cried? ...2008
31. Your best friend?...Heather
33. One place that I go to over and over? ...park
34. Facebook? no
35. Favourite place to eat? Indian

I would like to pass this award to five of my favourite blogs:
Sheila a very talented painter
Sara another one
Martin a fantastic sketcher
Gwen quirky and brilliant animal portraits
Jennifer colourful, whimsical sketches of her travels


At last I have finished my drawing of a dog, which is an exercise on the Pet Portrait course I am doing. I'm just about to send these last 3 drawings to my tutor to be critiqued.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


I haven't blogged in a while because I've been concentrating on these drawings for my Pet Portrait course (which is run by London Art College if anyone is interested). They do take a long time to do. Next I have to draw a dog. Hooray!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


I've just started this course in 'Pet Portraits' and this is one of the first exercises I had to do. It took ages!
Sorry about the darkness of the image but my scanner is not currently working and I can't seem to get a good photo of a pencil drawing.
I've just realised how odd it sounds that the exercise I had to do for my pet portrait course was to draw a plant! It's just drawing practice really.

Friday, 2 October 2009


I know I've been remiss in not posting this week but I haven't been lazy! I've been painting this lovely fellow, and just finished him today. He is a little dog called Rusky that we met in Crete, who happens to live with D's sister there. He really belongs to the Greek man that they are renting from, and when they arrived there he was sleeping in a leaky oildrum. Les made him a lovely little kennel, with blankets inside, and he's a very happy boy now. He is a wonderful little character.
I've been painting him because I'm trying to get back into doing what I used to do for a while, animal portraits. I need a bit of practice before I get going again.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Twilight View

I did this from a sketch I did of the view out of my office window at night. I'm not sure if it works - I didn't enjoy painting it that much - maybe because of the dark colours.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Pleasant view

The view from my office/studio window.

Morning light

It's just about impossible to paint this sort of light effect from life and photos dont' work so I did a quick tonal sketch as preparation for this one. I've got a value measurement thingy that I made as a result of reading 'Color' by Betty Edwards and used that to measure the tones. My colour and value wheels are a huge help when painting.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Chinese Bowl with oranges

I've been doing this 8x6 still life for a few days now, but have to stop today as the oranges are just 'on the turn'.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


I saw an advert for a life drawing session in my local artshop. It turned out to be an artist who lives in the next road to me, who wants people to join him and share the cost of the model. He was starting the weekly sessions today so I went there and really enjoyed it. It's nice to draw with like-minded people who want to do long poses rather than 5 or 10 minute ones. We did two one and a half hour drawings - my first was rubbish because I was a bit nervous. This one was better as I had warmed up a bit.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Frosty Morning

I did this today from a photo taken earlier this year. It's 8 x 6 - obviously a small scale - I had no idea how it would turn out. I wanted it to look a bit painterly and I'm fairly pleased with it as a step towards learning more about oil painting. I know I've got a long way to go - and I've got to get the hang of photographing paintings as well!

Thursday, 3 September 2009


This was done as an exercise from the 'Color' book by Betty Edwards. I'm going to try and do a lot more oil painting now I've got my new 'studio'.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Molly again

I just love drawing Molly!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Molly in her basket

D has made me a fantastic study in our house, where I've got space to work and also paint and draw when I'm not busy. Molly has become my little companion in there, sleeping in her basket next to my desk while I'm working.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Working Boots

These are D's old boots, which he is wearing all the time at the moment as he is just about rebuilding the house!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Hot day

It's a very hot day today, and pleasant with a nice breeze, but the heat wears the dogs out.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Friday, 14 August 2009

Asleep on a crumpled carpet

This old fellow might look very innocent but he's caused me a headache this morning when first of all I looked around in the park and he was nowhere to be seen. I looked everywhere for him, couldnt call him because he's deaf - then finally found him in the children's playground eating someone's left over burger. Then on the way home some workmen had just put wet cement in a hole in the road and he fell into it, so had cement covered legs all the way home.

Thursday, 13 August 2009


I know this drawing is confusing (it was confusing doing it) but it is a clothes horse with clothes on it and a view out of the window to a very messy garden.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Friday, 7 August 2009


D relaxing in the garden after work.

Back online again

I'm sorry I haven't posted for so long. I have been moving from the boat to a house and have only just got my broadband sorted out. The mess on this table is typical of the whole house at the moment.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Sunny afternoon

I've been very lucky today. It was super-hot (very unusual in an English summer) and I spent the afternoon sitting in the sunshine drawing this of all the boats on our mooring, with Chester in the foreground. I love my new Copic pens in different shades of grey, very good for tonal drawing.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Friday, 26 June 2009

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Taverna in Kalives

It was so hot on this day. Kalives is a very nice little town by the seaside - full of English ex pats - it was lovely to sit in this little taverna next to the sea with the breeze blowing through. They did a very nice cheese saganaki as well!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Friday, 19 June 2009


This is a drawing of the barbecue in Karen and Les's Cretan garden. Behind it you can see the sea.

Thursday, 18 June 2009


I'm sorry I havent blogged for a while - I have been on holiday to Crete again. It was unusually hot this time - 30 in the shade most days. I had a great time and will be posting a few pics I did while there.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Back home again

Molly looks a bit strange in this because when I started it she was looking at me, then she moved. I've decided to stop worrying about the dogs moving and just carry on regardless!
Well we are back from dry dock now - thank goodness! The dogs and rabbit are all safely back home with us. We spent all week in a dark and cold shed painting and cleaning and repairing things - now our boat is all gleaming and shiny! And she is up for sale...

Friday, 1 May 2009

Dry Dock

This is the last post for just over a week as we are taking the boat out of the water to work on it (lots of painting, cleaning etc). The rabbit has already gone to his rabbit hotel and the dogs have to go into kennels tonight (sob!) Hopefully I will have a little bit of time to sketch but I'll see how it goes.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

on each other's laps

I have to be sitting comfortably when drawing!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


I tried to do some sketches of Molly but she kept moving.
It must seem as if I have given up on the oil painting but I haven't - I have been busily doing colour exercises from Betty Edwards book 'Color', and I don't want to do another painting until I have finished the exercises. The exercises are very good and I feel as if I've learnt quite a lot (well a lot more than I knew anyway).

Monday, 20 April 2009

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Monday, 13 April 2009

View from The Phoenix

Today is Easter Monday and we went for a lunchtime drink to this lovely riverside pub.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Sketching outside

The weather's been very springlike here lately. Here's a sketch of Chester lying in the shade and Binky, our little rabbit, who's on his favourite place, a platform that D made him, where he can see everything that's going on.

Saturday, 4 April 2009


Yesterday morning was spent drawing this microphone to go onto the gravestone of my lovely late husband Art, who died in 2006. He was a singer, that's why I wanted the microphone, but the drawing the funeral parlour provided was not up to scratch. He would be proud of me for attempting this, because as well as being a singer he was a very talented artist and illustrator, and would have made a much better job of it than me. But I have done my best, as I know he would have been peeved to have a bad line drawing on his grave.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Watching football

I found a Copic Multiliner pen unexpectedly in a Kingston artshop. I haven't seen them anywhere else. I'm really pleased with it. The ink flow is very good. I haven't posted lately, partly because I have been busy with work and partly because I haven't really been in the mood... hopefully I'm back in the flow again now.