Welcome to my world as an artist and full-time mum of twins! Find out what I get up to, what's on my easel, about my techniques, materials, behind the scenes and other exciting things.....
My first portrait of my daughter
I am so delighted to have finished this picture of my gorgeous little girl Leila. It is one I have been working on for quite some time in-between commissions and home schooling my twins due to lockdown. It really captures her spirit and our love of summer. I don't think any of us can wait for summer to arrive and hopefully have a little more normality in our lives.
I completed this one mainly using Caran D'ache Luminance Pencils, including their new portrait range which I'm absolutely loving! I normally only work on wild animals and pets, but I have have now developed a love for drawing children too! My next personal project will definitely be of her twin brother.
Little by little...
On my easel this week I'm continuing working on the portrait of my daughter. I'm really enjoying challenging myself with doing something different. For me, skin tones are my challenge, I don't know why but I automatically get a block in my head! I just have to remind myself it is just tones and colours. My little girl is very excited to see it progress though which is wonderful!
Exploring the unknown...
For a few years now, I have wanted to have a go at drawing my children. I have done a few portraits in the past, mostly in graphite, before I really pursued my love of animals. It's been a while though and I remember that I wasn't all that happy with my paper choice in the past. Whilst I love it for for drawing animals, I wasn't so keen for people's skin. So I decided it was time to try something new! I have bought some Hahnemühle Nostalgie paper, which has a smooth surface. Usually, I use a vellum surface that has some texture to it. So far I am loving it! It's taking a little getting used to, but I am definitely enjoying drawing the hair on it. My daughter's hair reminds me very much of a tiger. She was delighted when I told her this! You can see more of my work in progress pictures of her and videos over on my Instagram and Facebook pages. I'm not too sure what will happen when I get to the face, but that's all part of learning!
Commissions in lockdown...
It has been a very strange few months being in lockdown, as I'm sure you are probably feeling yourself if you are in the UK and elsewhere around the world. Having my twins at home full-time from preschool has meant I've lost my mornings of work time but gained precious time with them instead. It's certainly not been an easy time to try and continue working in the rare bits of alone time I have. Nevertheless, I am beginning to try and implement strategies to get into a new normal routine. During this time I have been working on this secret commission of the beautiful Benji, who I can now share with you all. I had the pleasure of taking my own reference photos for this one, which was a real treat and the background was left entirely up to me. I love to tell a story, and I wanted to set the scene of him going for a lovely walk in the countryside down by the lake. I had an idea in my head of what I was wanting for the background, and I searched Pixabay and used some photos by Anthonios Ntoumas combined with some of my own photos for the foreground. My little girl loved looking at this one, and has been drawing her own Benji alongside me! I'm delighted to say the gift was very well received by his owner. Don't forget, if you would like your own picture creating of your dog (or any other animal!) then get in touch. You can find out more information in the commission section
Eeek, look what I've got!!! The paper copy of this month's Ann Kullberg's Color Magazine, which just happens to feature my artist profile article. I'm like a kid in a sweetshop, but it never gets old to see my work in print! This is the first time I've written about myself though and my art journey. It has been lovely to have already received some great feedback from people who have read it. If you would like to see more pictures of it then click here to visit my Facebook page.
Capturing Spirit and Soul
I am very honoured to have been asked to write this month's 'Artist Profile' for Ann Kullberg's Color Magazine! I have read this wonderful coloured pencil magazine for the last few years and have had one of my pieces in the showcase, written a step by step tutorial and now the artist profile, which I never dreamed would happen! I can't believe I have my name on the cover and I'm eagerly waiting to receive my paper copy. If any of you read this magazine, let me know what you think. If you would like to get a copy then you can purchase it by pdf or a paper copy by clicking here.
Mr Lion Tutorial
I'm delighted to say that 'Mr Lion' is now available as a downloadable tutorial on my Etsy shop. If you would like to learn how to create this handsome boy using coloured pencils then hop over to my shop and take a look! There is sample pages and details of materials used for you to view. Just click here!
Mr Lion Is Ready To Roar!
This week I’m delighted to say I’ve finished my lion! I have particularly loved working on that mane. An electric eraser and lots of layers works wonders for creating that thick, slightly frizzy wavy mane. This one is for some one to one tuition I’m doing and I’m already busy typing it up and prepping a downloadable tutorial. I’m hoping that it will be up for sale on my Etsy shop by the end of this week. Don’t forget, if you’re not already subscribed to my newsletter then why don’t you join me to keep up to date with new releases and offers etc. During this coming week, I shall also be working on getting started on creating some videos and free downloads on creating big cats eyes.
My New In-depth Black Jaguar Tutorial Book Is Now Available!!
This week I’m super excited to be able to share with you my new tutorial. I was very honoured to be asked by the incredible coloured pencil artist Ann Kullberg to write an in-depth tutorial of a black jaguar, to feature alongside other amazing CP artists she features. This handsome boy is called Neron and is based on photographs I took of him at the Big Cat Sanctuary, in Kent, UK. The tutorial is available as a PDF on Ann Kullberg’s website or as an actual book via Amazon. I still find it very exciting to be able to type of name into Amazon and see my book there!! I also have limited edition prints available in my Etsy shop of Neron in two different sizes.
Progress update of Mr Handsome Lion
Having been in hospital before Christmas, I'm having to take things a little slower but I've been getting back into spending some time in the studio thankfully! I'm currently working on this wonderful lion ready for a one to one teaching session I'm doing this coming weekend. These days I normally work up a picture as a whole, but with this one I've been working it up in sections due to teaching. How do you work on a drawing?
I'm hoping to get this one finished by the weekend and then I shall be writing it up and releasing it as a downloadable tutorial on my Etsy store. Check back next week to see how I got on.
Christmas Commissions Can Now Be Revealed!
Happy New Year!
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! I thought I'd start the year off by sharing with you one of my favourite Christmas commissions of the very beautiful Wisp who is a cocker spaniel. I completed it in pure coloured pencils on Stonehenge paper size 8"x12" using reference photos provided by the customer. The background is based on photos of the river where Wisp enjoys going for walks. The most challenging aspect of this picture was Wisp's beautiful wavy hair. I found by using a Caran D'ache Museum Aquarelle White pencil dry it was beautifully creamy and allowed some lighter hairs to be put in over the underneath darker layers. Definitely a pencil I will be adding to my collection! Watch this space for regular updates....