Max, Coloured Pencil and Neocolor crayons A2 size
I made the foolish suggestion to my niece that I would draw a picture of her beloved dog Max for Christmas. I did add the caveat that it could be a complete failure and she would be getting a gift voucher if it didn’t work. I have not done many dog portraits and he is difficult colour to be drawing. I did spend some time on fellow blogger Rebecca Anderson’s site , she does amazing drawings of her black dog,
After a shaky start I am pleased with the result. The eyes, in fact, have turned out too well and they follow you around the room. There were a couple of times when I was drawing it that I could feel him watching me. Because he is so black, there are times when it is only the flash of the whites of his eyes, that let you know that he is curled up into a dark corner.
He is a rescue pup, we got him at around three months, but he must have had a rough time as he is still a very nervous boy and easily spooked. My niece has done an amazing job with him and he is well trained, though prone to getting into trouble. He is visiting us at the moment, while Katie is at the beach with friends. Our girls love having him to visit, Rosie loves her elder brother, but he is more interested in basking in the sun.
Rosie, Max and Hannah. Max had to voice is objection in being disturbed from his afternoon nap.
Posted in 2013 Artwork, 2017 Artwork, commissions
Tagged art, christmaspresents, colored pencil, coloured pencil, commissions, Dogs, Max, neocolors, Staffycross
Sweet Peas ‘Fire and Ice’
I have been working on this drawing for awhile now. Adding different backgrounds to my flower portraits has been an idea in my head for some time, but I have had trouble trying to figure out how to do it. I have tried before with smudgy type backgrounds (technical term there), but I have never liked it.
The idea for this background came to me when I was photographing some sweet peas last year and was looking at the great pattern of the stems and tendrils and thought they would make a good background, especially if I did them in grey scale. This also gave me the chance to use my water soluble graphite sticks. I always love the chance to play with new art supplies and it may even justify their purchase!
under coat of ink
Starting the coloured pencil
Although I am fairly happy with the result, I am not completely sure that this is the answer. The sweet peas are cut out and are just sitting on top of the background, so nothing is set yet. When I am not sure of a picture I have a few techniques I try to get another perspective on the work.
- Put the whole thing away and look at it again in a few weeks. Not having seen it for awhile gives me fresh eyes to look at the work again to see if I really do like it or not.
- The opposite of this is to stick it on the wall where I can look at it for awhile to figure out what is not working.
- Taking a photo of the work is my third way of figuring out what is the problem, making it black and white can help, especially if you do not have enough contrast, as this is hard to tell sometime with coloured work.
If you have a different technique please share it with me as I always need help.
Last weekend I went back to one of my favourite nurseries, Lambley Nursery just out of Ballarat, as they had a garden tour and you could visit their sweet peas that they grow for their flower seeds, over 100 varieties. The sweet pea I drew is from their garden last year and is called Fire and Ice. I took a few photos, (over 70, but who is counting) and have included a few of my favourites for your viewing pleasure.
Might be a second Sweet Pea picture….
Posted in 2017 Artwork, Flowers from the Garden, What inspires me
Tagged art, colored pencils, coloured pencil, drawing, floral portraints, flowers, gardening, karenbaileystudio, Lambley nursery, sweet pea
This is my latest work in progress and my favourite rose in the garden at the moment. It is a big call to name my favourite rose, but Pierre wins. Old fashioned roses are my favourite, the abundance of petals and the heavenly scent are major points in their favour. I love the way the colours move from cream with a hint of green on the outside, to cream with a flush of pink on the edges in the middle, to a beautiful subtle pink in the centre. The combination of cream and pink with the hint of apple green is stunning in this rose.
This particular climber has been in my garden for over eight years and is well established and producing magnificent blooms. I find that my roses produce better blooms the older they get. This is especially true for the old fashioned roses who tend to ball (go brown at the bud stage and never open) when young.
I have drawn this rose in my usual style with a under wash of sennelier ink then coloured pencil over the top. It has been a great deal of fun to get back into this work again after a bit of a break and I have really enjoyed working with the beautiful colours of this rose and the challenge of making shadows in the cream rose work. There is nothing like drawing a flower to make you really understand and appreciate it.
It has been ages since I last posted and the past 12 months have been very difficult. My Mum passed away this time last year and after caring for her for so long and other major life crisis following on, I haven’t had the energy to keep the blog going. My final blow was being made redundant a couple of months ago, just when you think it couldn’t get worse it does. But it was a blessing in disguise and it has given me time to re-evaluate and make some new choices on what I would like my life to be like. One of the clearest decisions was to take the opportunity to follow my art more seriously. So for the last month I have been preparing my website and deciding on some business strategies and am looking forward to telling you all about them in the next post.
Posted in 2017 Artwork, C'maine Garden, Flowers from the Garden
Tagged art, colored pencils, coloured pencil, drawing, floral portraints, flowers, gardening, karenbaileystudio, Pierre de Ronsard, rose drawings, rose paintings, Roses
Fairy Wax Flower Coloured Pencil and Ink
Still running around taking photos of the wildflowers in the bush, it has not let up and with still more varieties coming into bloom. We have not had such a bumper year (or a wetter one) and I am still finding new flowers to add to my collection of photos. I will have so many photos to inspire my drawings, I hope they will last all year.
This one is the Fairy Wax flower. It is so very photogenic, just about every photo I have taken of these flowers have worked and the white flowers against the dark green leaves really stand out. I never realised that flowers could be photogenic, but for me it is the case. Some photograph well enough but just don’t look as good as others. Of course this would have nothing to do with my ineptitude at photography or lack of real equipment (Ha ha). I am still taking all my photos on the Iphone with the Camera+ app. I love the ease and I know that I would not have the patience to faff around with setting up a lot of equipment and give up taking photos. Here are some of what I have taken lately.
Pink Fingers Orchid
Castlemaine Spider Orchid
Castlemaine Spider Orchid
We have planned a beautiful poteger vegetable patch with raised beds, formal layout and walls of wire mesh to climb things up. It will be a staged event, with the beds going in this year and the walls next. But we have had the wettest September on record, instead of 60mm of rain we have had 160mm. this is really slowing down progress.
I will leave you with t Rosie watching the rain. She is growing so fast, but seems to do it in stages, one moment her legs have grown and she is all gangling, then her ears will grow and she looks like a fox. Never had a dog do that, but it is very funny to watch.
Rosie watching the rain
Posted in 2016 Artwork, Australian Natives, What inspires me
Tagged art, australian native flower, Castlemaine, Castlemaine Spider Orchid, colored pencil, coloured pencil, coloured pencils, drawing, drawings, flowers, native flowers, pink bells, Pink finger Orchid, Sundew flower
Greenhood Orchid Coloured Pencil and Ink
Spring is finally ‘officially’ here and I have been torn between walks in the bush to find flowers, drawing and gardening. I feel like the puppy, excitedly running from one to the other, not settling at anything.
It is such a busy time and as the weather tries to warm up, you just want to be out there. We have just finished planting the roses and lavender in the front garden bed and made a huge seed order for the summer vege patch. Not sure where they are all going to go, but it was impossible to be restrained with all these amazing heirloom varieties that sound so wonderful. Vegetables such as Flageolet Flagrano Bean, Paris market carrots, Costoluto Genovese tomatoe, one of the oldest Italian varieties and Rosa Bianca eggplant.
Little Greenhoods in the bush
The little Greenhood orchids are still flowering and I finally found time to complete a drawing of one. Such gorgeous little things only a 1-2cm long flower and the stand no more than 7-8cm high. I am not usually fond of green flowers but these are so crisp and fresh and who can resist such a bizarre shape.
Lynette and the dogs, searching for orchids on a spring morning
I have found a couple of new orchids this year, which is always exciting. There is the Leopard Orchid all yellow and brown, Lynette thinks it looks more like a dragon and the Yellow Moth orchid with its stunning, clear, yellow petals. The good thing about being a beginner at this, is there are so many new plants to discover. Every walk is an adventure. I now have my sister hooked and it is better with two people searching, as all these flowers are very small. (Tap/click the image for the orchid name.)
Posted in 2016 Artwork, Australian Natives, What inspires me
Tagged art, australian native flower, Castlemaine, colored pencil, coloured pencil, coloured pencils, drawing, drawings, flowers, Greenhood orchid, Leopard Orchid, native flowers