Self Portrait in coloured pencil

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


I have finished the coloured pencil portrayal of conkers or horsechestnuts. It is 5x7 inches. 
I did some miniatures in coloured pencil, based on the horsechestnut tree last year and I wanted to do a larger version. I thought I had finished it last year but when I looked at it last week I decided I could do a better job of the shadows. 
I used Zest-it pencil blend to reduce the rough areas of shadow, then I left it to dry until next day. Then I was able to blend fresh shadows on top of the traces. 

I described in early February, how I built a barricade to protect my artwork from the cat. Well it stopped working. The cat insists on sitting on my lap. So I spent the weekend setting up my smaller artwork "studio" in my bedroom/cat-free zone. Now I have the painting of the bronze cat still life set up and I was able to get back to it this afternoon. I also set up two 5x7 inch pen and ink drawings of my favourite horse model. There is no ink on them yet. I will be able to work on them while I am waiting for paint to dry!
I have put the other pen and inks away for a while. They are wolves and big cats so they will wait. 

My downstairs studio has my easel for big paintings. I will stand to work on them so the cat won't be able to sit on my lap. I am waiting for my leg to become stronger before I can do that. I have been having trouble with walking and standing this winter which is one reason I have been concentrating on the small pen and inks. 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Wolf with cubs in her den drawn in pen and ink.

I have been moving my art studio downstairs and I had buried my scanner under a heap of paper which is why I have only just been able to scan this 6 x 4 inch pen and ink drawing of a wolf with her cubs in a den under tree roots. 
I have wanted to do this subject for a long time and eventually I decided that I must do it now. It is the one subject that I would regret if I had not done it at the end of my life. Now I can look for another subject to inspire me, but first I am going to do another larger version of the wolf den in colour. 
I love working in pen and ink. I recently bought a second Platinum fountain pen to use with waterproof carbon ink. Yes these pens are designed with a cap that stops them from drying up though it is necessary to use it every day or so with the carbon ink. I bought the pen with the ultra fine nib for my small drawings. I love the feel of the pen in my hand and the delicate lines that it can produce. 
I needed fine lines and control to draw the wolf and her cubs. The cubs in particular were a huddle of legs and noses. It was difficult to sort them out. I think there are four cubs there. It may have helped if I coloured the tongues pink but I thought that would look silly.