Thursday, April 29, 2010


I so enjoyed using graphite on my baby Giraffe that I had planned to do another on a similar scale (of a young lion) ~ however when searching through my files for the ref photo I stumbled upon "Gertrude" patiently waiting for her turn and looked no further.................I adore bovine subjects, they have such wonderful inquisitive faces............ so I started Gertrude on Tuesday and have again enjoyed the graphite process thus far and am looking froward to working on it whenever time allows.
I have at long last got a couple of commissions in the pipeline so maybe the lion will be kept waiting a while yet ;-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Graphite Giraffe finished at last

Had a few hours set aside to work on the Giraffe today and am pleased to say it's now finished, I've enjoyed using pencils for a change and am tempted to carry on with them to have a go at a lion from the many ref photos I took at Port Lympne last week.
First I have to pick up on my oil paintings of Lily the cat who has been sidelined while I took care of the artwork for last weeks exhibition.
I must admit that my studio is looking reasonably clean for a change do to the lack of pastel dust and painting of the long forgotten benefits of working with graphite, however I must invest in some proper masking tape as the giraffe very nearly came a cropper when I removed the tape fixing it to my board!
Now I can't decide which of these two handsome beasts should be my next graphite victim.........any suggestions?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Giraffe 5

Nearly finished on the giraffe, but such a large graphite piece is pretty slow going and hard on the eyes so today I took a break from the drawing to rest my eyes.

Trundled off to Port Lympne with my camera today to get some animal ref photos and to check out the situation at the art exhibition.

I had heard more bad press about the show (mainly venue related) and been told that a large number of paintings had been collected, I took my packaging intending to pull my work if it was as bad as reported, but I am happy to say that the place was packed and the exhibition was still getting the thumbs up from the visiting public so my picture will stay in place till the end.

I now have some excellent photographs to work from (mainly the big cats) and can't wait to get back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Giraffe progress

Today should have been set aside for domestic chores :-( but as always I can find plenty of displacement activity to avoid such shopping done and cupboards full I decided to forsake the ironing pile to continue work on the baby giraffe.

I hadn't decided on a background but one started to appear as I worked so it looks like this one will be continuing to occupy me for some time yet.........meanwhile poor hubby will be wearing wrinkly shirts to work

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Today was a short day for me as I had a visit from friends this morning and lots of catching up to do, after lunch I walked the dogs then finally sat down at my drawing board late this afternoon, just a couple of hours work later this is how far I am with the giraffe, I must admit I am really enjoying this one and don't want to stop till it's finished ...however I have three other paintings waiting for final touches and lots to do this week so I may have to :-(

Monday, April 05, 2010


Having spent the best part of three days at Port Lympne Wild Animal park last week I made some great new contacts one of whom is the resident photographer David Rolfe who was happy to share tips on acquiring wildlife photographs, when I said I would love to photograph and paint the giraffes he offered me a choice of his wonderful images to use, I couldn'thave been happier and chose this youngster, inspired by some of the wonderful graphite works on display in the exhibition I decided to give it a go in of my favorite mediums.

I am not very fast with pencil so this will take quite a while as it is fairly large at 55 x 36 cm
The first stage is quite hard to see because I use a light touch with an HB pencil to sketch out the basic form (using a grid system for accuracy) then I begin adding tone starting on the left of the drawing so as not to smudge the work as I progress, this has taken about four hours so far.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Port Lympne wildlife art exhibition

These are the four paintings I submitted

The wildlife art exhibition at Port Lympne has been a mixed bag for me, firstly the hosts saw fit to house the exhibition in a Marquee that had seen far better days and there was a serious lack of organisation/ planning which led to some artists withdrawing their work, Having volunteered to help with hanging I had little option but to stay and try to do something to help for the sake of the other artists, in the event it all seemed to come together at the last minute, Vic Reeves did a great job at the packed opening ceremony and the artwork looked wonderful, generating sales.............. so with the blessing of some decent weather I'm hoping that the bad start can be thing is for certain...........if it happens again it will have to be housed in a solid structure and be organised by someone far more capable!