Monday, October 26, 2009


Just finished this pastel of two "teenage" cygnets venturing away from the parent birds for the first time, I have been watching this amazing family since my return from Australia in June.

There are eight cygnets altogether and I have been facsinated by the wonderfully protective parents raising all eight to maturity, they are in a local area populated by foxes and swim on a canal that is home to many large Pike so these cygnets have all survived against the odds.

This weekend I watched as the Cob bird chased off the young in batches towards their independence, leaving Mum with just one baby to watch over, I guess soon they will have the place back to themselves!

Anyway I have done so much autumnal foliage as background lately that I felt it was time to use some of the colours that get left in the bottom of my tray, this watery scene was a challenge to say the least!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Have now finished the Sika Stag painting and am happy with the way it turned out, Now I need a title for it ............suggestions?

Friday, October 23, 2009


Here is todays progress on the Stag painting......... not too far to go now, I forgot to mention that this is my third painting on Pastelmat and after my initial assessment of this support I have completely changed my mind and would go as far as to say I'm loving it!
Just to re-affirm my feelings I decided to do a small Barn Owl study on Murano (my all time favourite) and I think the results speak for themselves!
The big bonus with Pastelmat for me is the fact that the pastel stays need for the dreaded fixative :-)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sika Stag

I have been busy completing my last three Christmas commissions so am unable to post those in case I spoil someone's surprise :-(
However I have had such wonderful luck spotting local wildlife just lately that I have plenty of inspiration for my own work.
About a week ago while out walking my dogs at the crack of dawn I saw a herd of Sika deer which was an amazing sight in itself but then the chief stag came over to see what was going on and stood staring straight at us over the low hedge, he was perfectly lit by the low autumn sunrise and I managed to get some stunning shots of him (never leave home without my camera) so today he has been committed to my easel.
I have been having such fun with all the glorious colours and getting filthy with pastel dust but have had to give up half way due to eyestrain and the dreaded double vision (roll on those new glasses)
Never mind, I have no commissions on the horizon so will continue with this one tomorrow.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Two more paintings completed

I have been working on the sheep in the meadow painting over the weekend as I have finished the kitten watercolour (Christmas commission) got a bit carried away and added a Barn owl as he's a regular hunter in the field that I've painted.

I'm quite happy with the result and intend to exhibit this alongside "Curiosity" at the big Autumn exhibition (if I can afford to get them both framed in time) they are quite large at 50 x 37 cm so could work out expensive.

As often happens I have now grown fond of the pastelmat paper having learned how to cope with its grip on the pastel so am now on the lookout for some more before I start the next one in this series.

Meanwhile I have just accepted a commission from a selection of very bad ref's so will save the "pleasure painting" as a reward for when the commission is in the bag!

There, that's just the incentive I needed................... off to start on the Yorkie

Friday, October 02, 2009


Couldn't settle to my commission work today as the day was spent intermittently waiting for workmen and I didn't want to risk anything important, so I decided to use up the other half of a sheet of pastelmat that I bought and didn't like.

I chose to paint sheep this time.... in a similar manner to my other pastelmat painting "Curiosity" and again with the animals backlit I am hoping it will work out as popular as the cow.

Here is the basic underpainting so far............